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What song(s) has or have had an influence in your life? I remember, I was 15 when I first heard Billie Holiday sing "Strange Fruit". I was going through a period of heartache, saddened for my people around the world. I cried when I heard it, and after, I was rejuvenated, ready for change.
***************************************************** "There's no original evil left in the world. Everyone's just recycling pain." -Keith Ablow, Projection *****************************************************
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Strange Fruit is a good one!

Sade(Pearls, King of Sorrow, Slave Song), Lucky Dube(The Other Side), Bob Marley(Babylon System), Peter Tosh(Mamma Africa), Buju Banton(Up Ye Mighty Race).

I end up crying when I listen to any and all of them. This particular one get's me "krunk".

Buju Banton - Up Ye Mighty Race

From the album "Friends For Life"

How long must our people be a human sacrifice
Stand up defend your rights
Up up ye mighty race you can accomplish what you will
Stand up defend your rights
In a day they destroy what took a thousand to build
Stand up defend your rights
You may conquer our land you never kill the will
Stand up defend your rights

Liberty and democracy are truly expensive can even cost your life
And those who stand for nothing fall for any little thing
Father heal the blinded eye
The immortal advantage they take my people
The heavens heard the cry
Saviour our calamity is so great
Patiently the humble wait

To attain freedom
Why must there be shedding of blood
Is there mo real love
Are they still holding a grudge
Build their institution to keep us inside
Regulating our progress blocking every forward stride
Let the souls of every living being nationwide
Feel a shifting of the tide
Ah ah ah ah ah

Put it together stop being selfish
No more shall we submit
Man champion of course now
Equal rights and justice
Advise for the poor man
Proclaiming through that music
My flesh has been afflicted
The soul they couldn't abuse it
From the hands of cruelity
we have gained solidarity
Rewriting the pages of history
Rewriting the pages yeah
Rewriting the pages yeah
Ah ah ah
It's really funny that you asked this question, but I am REALLY FEELIN' Jill Scott's "Golden" from her latest CD. I heard it for the first time today when I downloaded the CD and it hit my right between the eyes!!! Heart It is absolutely wonderful at so many levels. Not to be dramatic or anything, but this is one of those songs that, after I've heard it only 4 or 5 times, I know I will hold dear to me for the rest of my life.

Here are the lyrics:

JILL SCOTT LYRICS

Golden


[Intro:]
Heyyy, Ohh, Heyyy, Yeah, Ohh, Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeahhhh

[Verse 1]
I'm taking my freedom,
Pulling it off the shelf,
Putting it on my chain,
Wear it around my neck,
I'm taking my freedom,
Putting it in my car,
Wherever I choose to go,
It will take me far,

[Chorus]
I'm livin' my life like it's golden
Livin' my life like it's golden, X3
Livin' my life like it's golden, golden,
Livin' my life like it's golden, X4
Livin' my life like it's golden, golden,

[Verse 2]
I'm taking my own freedom
Putting it in my song,
Singing loud and strong,
Grooving all day long,
I'm taking my freedom,
Putting it in my stroll,
I'll be high-steppin' y'all,
Letting the joy unfold,

[Chorus]

I'm holding on to my freedom,
Can't take it from me,
I was born into it,
It comes naturally,
I'm strumming my own freedom,
Playing the god in me,
Representing his glory,
Hope he's proud of me,

[Chorus]

[Bridge]
I'm living my life like its golden, golden, golden, golden, golden, golden, [X2]

[Chorus]

[Jill Scott:]
Livin' my life like it's golden,
It really matters to me, Ohhh

[Bridge X5]
I just heard a song by some white guy. The line that got me was:

"Fathers be good to your daughters/they will learn to love as you do/they will grow to be lovers and then into mothers/so mothers be good to your daughters too."

That moved me to think of my relationship with my daughter. While it is a great relationship, the song reminded me that I have to be vigilant in the lessons that I teach.
quote:
Originally posted by Kweli4Real:
I just heard a song by some white guy. The line that got me was:

"Fathers be good to your daughters/they will learn to love as you do/they will grow to be lovers and then into mothers/so mothers be good to your daughters too."

That moved me to think of my relationship with my daughter. While it is a great relationship, the song reminded me that I have to be vigilant in the lessons that I teach.


That's some deep stuff.
If I have weaknesses
Don't let them blind me
Or camouflage all I am wary of
I could be sailing in seizures of laughter
Or crawling out from under the heel of love
Do my prayers remain unanswered
Like a beggar at your sleeve
Olodumare is smiling in heaven
Smiling in heaven I do believe

Reach in the darkness
A reach in the dark
Reach in the darkness
A reach in the dark
To overcome an obstacle or an enemy
To glide away from the razor or a knife
To overcome an obstacle or an enemy
To dominate the impossible in your life

Always a stranger when strange isn't fashionable
And fashion is rich people waving at the door
Or it's a dealer in drugs or in passion
Lies of a nature we've heard before
Do my prayers remain unanswered
Like a beggar at your sleeve
Babalu-aye spins on his crutches
Says leave if you want
If you want to leave

Reach in the darkness
A reach in the dark
A reach in the darkness
Reach in the dark
To overcome an obstacle or an enemy
To glide away from the razor or a knife
To overcome an obstacle or an enemy
To dominate the impossible in your life
Reach in the darkness
A reach in the dark
Reach in the darkness
A reach in the dark
To overcome an obstacle or an enemy
To dominate the impossible in your life
Reach in the darkness
A reach in the dark

Paul Simon " Rythm of The Saints.
If I had to choose a song that I think had the biggest impact on my life it would have to be Public Enemy classic track "Welcome to the terrordome". I was in H.S. when this track dropped and man oh man and I took African American History that year as well.

Some of my favorite versus from the song:

Sad to say I got sold down the river
Still some quiver when I deliver
Never to say I never know or had a clue
Word was heard, plus hard on the boulevard
Lies, scandalizin', basin'
Traits of hate who's celebratin' wit satan?
I rope a dope the evil with righteous
Bobbin' and weavin' and let the good get even

I don't smile in the line of fire
I go wildin'
But it's on bass and drums even violins
Watcha do gitcha head ready
Instead of gettin' physically sweaty
When I get mad
I put it down on a pad
Give ya somethin' that cha never had controllin'
Fear of high rollin'
God bless your soul and keep livin'
Never allowed, kickin' it loud
Droppin' a bomb
Brain game intellectual Vietnam
Move as a team
Never move alone
But
Welcome to the Terrordome

The whole damn song IS awesome... Think I will put it in my IPOD when I get home!!
There's one song in particular, sung by Amel Larrieux, who has to be one of the best song writers and artists in music today, titled "Now You Know Better" on a CD called Mondo Grosso MG4. I listen to this song on a regular basis to help me deal with growing pains, personal devlopment, and the drudgery of every day life. She sings it very pretty and it has a nice little uplifting beat to it.

Can you remember when you were just
six years old
with a trusting heart accepting
everything you're told
anyone bigger must have been right
even if they were wrong
you'd take what was given
you didn't know better
all your little mind could comprehend
was goodness and truth
even when the baddest things were
being done to you
ain't it a shame how you pay
for your innocence
when you take what, was given
you didn't know any better 'bout

loving, cheating, people leaving
dying, living, losin and forgiving
growin, saying no and, being who you are

What about the time when you became
16 years old
with an unsure heart believing
some of what you're told
wanting to be someone different,
but there's pressure to be the same
so you'd take what was given
you didn't know better
all that you think about was
what you should or should not do
every single insecurity was magnified for you
and suddenly you begin to feel all the contradictions
but you'd take was given
you didn't know better 'bout

loving, cheating, people leaving
dying, living, losin and forgiving
growin, saying no and, being who you are

Now here you are a little older than before
you really been through it and
you might go through some more
but if there's one precious thing you've learned,
it's that you can't just take what is given,
cuz now you know better 'bout

loving, cheating, people leaving
dying, living, losin and forgiving
growin, saying no and, being who you are

Now you, now you, now you know better
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I must put down the lyrics to the song "Superman (It's Not Easy)" by Five For Fighting. I first heard this song on my way home from work on Sept. 10, 2001, a day before 9/11. Ever since then I've loved the song. It's the reason why I have the Superman logo as my avatar. Plus, it always get me choked up when I hear the words (especially since Christopher Reeve passed away):

I can't stand to fly
I'm not that naive
I'm just out to find
The better part of me

I'm more than a bird...I'm more than a plane
More than some pretty face beside a train
It's not easy to be me

Wish that I could cry
Fall upon my knees
Find a way to lie
About a home I'll never see

It may sound absurd...but don't be naive
Even Heroes have the right to bleed
I may be disturbed...but won't you concede
Even Heroes have the right to dream
It's not easy to be me

Up, up and away...away from me
It's all right...You can all sleep sound tonight
I'm not crazy...or anything...

I can't stand to fly
I'm not that naive
Men weren't meant to ride
With clouds between their knees

I'm only a man in a silly red sheet
Digging for kryptonite on this one way street
Only a man in a funny red sheet
Looking for special things inside of me

It's not easy to be me.


An associate of mine from my writer's group, says that according to the lyrics, Superman is afraid to fly, yet trying to find a way to fit in society. I agreed, but I elaborated and said that Superman/Clark Kent wants to be considered just human, neither subhuman nor superhuman, because if not, he's just trading one extreme for another.

Plus, I added that this could also describe African-Americans (particularly sports heroes) From Jim Brown, Ali, OJ to Tony Dorsett, Magic, Jordan, Charles Barkley, Darryl Strawberry, Rodman, Shaq and Kobe, many black athletes are labeled as either superhuman jocks or steroid-enhanced delinquents...hence either superhuman or subhuman, never just plain ol' "human." It's not easy to be me.

In addition, the second verse definitely describes the plight of the diaspora, as far as African-American identity is concerned:

"Wish that I could cry/fall upon my knees/find a way to lie/about a home I'll never see"

Just change the address from Planet Krypton to Africa and voila.
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Something Inside So Strong
by Labi Siffre

The higher you build your barriers
The taller I become
The further you take my rights away
The faster I will run
You can deny me
You can decide to turn your face away
No matter 'cause there's

Something inside so strong
I know that I can make it
Though you're doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone... oh no
There's something inside so strong
Something inside so strong

The more you refuse to hear my voice
The louder I will sing
You hide behind walls of Jericho
Your lies will come tumbling
Deny my place in time
You squander wealth that's mine
My light will shine so brightly it will blind you
Because there's

Something inside so strong
I know that I can make it
Though you're doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone... oh no
There's something inside so strong
Something inside so strong

Brothers and sisters
When they insist we're just not good enough
Well, we know better
Just look 'em in the eyes and say
We're gonna do it anyway
We're gonna do it anyway
because there's

Something inside so strong
I know that I can make it
Though you're doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone... oh no
There's something inside so strong
Something inside so strong
A Song For Assata by Common

In the Spirit of God.
In the Spirit of the Ancestors.
In the Spirit of the Black Panthers.
In the Spirit of Assata Shakur.
We make this movement towards freedom
for all those who have been oppressed, and all those in the struggle.
Yeah. yo, check it-

There were lights and sirens, gunshots firin
Cover your eyes as I describe a scene so violent
Seemed like a bad dream, she laid in a blood puddle
Blood bubbled in her chest, cold air brushed against open flesh
No room to rest, pain consumed each breath
Shot twice wit her hands up
Police questioned but shot before she answered
One Panther lost his life, the other ran for his
Scandalous the police were as they kicked and beat her
Comprehension she was beyond, tryna hold on
to life. She thought she'd live with no arm
that's what it felt like, got to the hospital, eyes held tight
They moved her room to room-she could tell by the light
Handcuffed tight to the bed, through her skin it bit
Put guns to her head, every word she got hit
'Who shot the trooper?' they asked her
Put mace in her eyes, threatened to blast her
Her mind raced till things got still
Opened her eyes, realized she's next to her best friend who got killed
She got chills, they told her: that's where she would be next
Hurt mixed wit anger-survival was a reflex
They lied and denied visits from her lawyer
But she was buildin as they tried to destroy her
If it wasn't for this german nurse they woulda served her worse
I read this sister's story, knew that it deserved a verse
I wonder what would happen if that woulda been me?
All this shit so we could be free, so dig it, y'all.

(Cee-lo vocals)
I'm thinkin' of Assata, yes.
Listen to my Love, Assata, yes.
Your Power and Pride is beautiful.
May God bless your Soul.

(Common)
It seemed like the middle of the night when the law awakened her
Walkie-talkies cracklin, I see 'em when they takin her
Though she kinda knew,
What made the ride peaceful was the trees and the sky was blue
Arrived to Middlesex Prison about six inna morning
Uneasy as they pushed her to the second floor in
a cell, one cot, no window, facing hell.
Put in the basement of a prison wit all males
And the smell of misery, seatless toilets and centipedes
She'd exercise, (paint?,) and begin to read
Two years inna hole. Her soul grew weak
Away from people so long she forgot how to speak
She discovered frredom is a unspoken sound
And a wall is a wall and can be broken down
Found peace in the Panthers she went on trial with
One of the brothers she had a child with
The foulness they would feed her, hopin she's lose her seed
Held tight, knowing the fight would live through this seed
In need of a doctor, from her stomach she's bleed
Out of this situation a girl was conceived
Separated from her, left to mother the Revolution
And lactated to attack hate
Cause federal and state was built for a Black fate
Her emptiness was filled with beatings and court dates
They fabricated cases, hoping one would stick
And said she robbed places that didn't exist
In the midst of threats on her life and being caged with Aryan whites
Through dark halls of hate she carried the light
I wonder what would happen if that woulda been me?
All of this shit so we could be free.
Yeah, I often wonder what would happen if that woulda been me?
All of this shit so we could be free, so dig it, people-

(Cee-Lo)
I'm thinkin' of Assata, yeah.
Listen to my Love, Assata, yeah.
Your Power and Pride, so Beautiful...
May God bless your Soul.
Oooh.

(Common)
Yo
From North Carolina her grandmother would bring
news that she had had a dream
Her dreams always meant what they needed them to mean
What made them real was the action in between
She dreamt that Assata was free in they old house in Queens
The fact that they always came true was the thing
Assata had been convicted of a murder she couldna done
Medical evidence shown she couldna shot the gun
It's time for her to see the sun from the other side
Time for her daughter to be by her mother's side
Time for this Beautiful Woman to become soft again
Time for her to breathe, and not be told how or when
She untangled the chains and escaped the pain
How she broke out of prison I could never explain
And even to this day they try to get to her
but she's free with political asylum in Cuba.

(Cee-Lo vocals)
I'm thinkin' of Assata, yeah.
Listen to my Love, Assata, yeah.
We're molded from the same mud, Assata.
We share the same Blood, Assata, yeah.
Your Power and Pride, so Beautiful...
May God bless your Soul.
Your Power and Pride, so Beautiful...
May God bless your Soul.
Oooh.

(Assata)
Freedom! You askin me about freedom. Askin me about freedom?
I'll be honest with you. I know a whole more about what freedom isn't
than about what it is, cause I've never been free.
I can only share my vision with you of the future, about what freedom is.
Uhh, the way I see it, freedom is-- is the right to grow, is the right to
blossom.
Freedom is -is the right to be yourself, to be who you are,
to be who you wanna be, to do what you wanna do. (fade out)
Peace and Blessings,

Sadness: "Good Morning Heartache" Billie Holiday

Happy: "Take Time To Get Away, Free Your Mind" (I'm not sure of the title) but it's by Ledisi and "Living My Life Like It's Golden" by Jill Scott "September" Earth, Wind and Fire

Relaxing: "You're Always In My Head" India.Arie

Really too many to list!

Peace,
Virtue
This song always moves me. It's by Stevie Wonder and it is called "As"

As around the sun the earth knows she's revolving
And the rosebuds know to bloom in early May
Just as hate knows love's the cure
You can rest your mind assure
That I'll be loving you always

As now can't reveal the mistery of tomorrow
But in passing will grow older every day
Just as all is born is new
Do you know what I say is true
That I'll be loving you always

Until the rainbow burns the stars out in the sky
ALWAYS
Until the ocean covers every mountain high
ALWAYS
Until the dolphin flies and parrots live at sea
ALWAYS
Until we dream of life and life becomes a dream

Did you know that true love asks for nothing
Her acceptance is the way we pay
Did you know that life has given love a guarantee
To last through forever and another day

Just as time knew to move on since the beginning
And the seasons know exactly when to change
Just as kindness knows no shame
Know through all your joy and pain
That I'll be loving you always

As today I know I'm living but tomorrow
Could make me the past but that I mustn't fear
For I'll know deep in my mind
The love of me I've left behind
Cause I'll be loving you always

Until the day is night and night becomes the day
ALWAYS
Until the trees and sea just up and fly away
ALWAYS
Until the day that 8x8x8 is 4
ALWAYS
Until the day that is the day that are no more
Did you know you're loved by somebody?
Until the day the earth starts turning right to left
ALWAYS
Until the earth just for the sun denies itself
I'll loving you forever
Until dear Mother Nature says her work is through
ALWAYS
Until the day that you are me and I am you
Until the rainbow burns the stars out in the sky
Until the ocean covers every mountain high

We all know sometimes life's hates and troubles
Can make you wish you were born in another time and space
But you can bet your life times that and twice its double
That God knew exactly where he wanted you to be placed
So make sure when you say you're in it but not of it
You're not helping to make this earth a place sometimes called Hell
Change your words into truths and then change that truth into love
And maybe our children's grandchildren
And their great-great grandchildren will tell

I'll be loving you
Until the rainbow burns the stars out in the sky
I'll be loving you
Until the ocean covers every mountain high
I'll be loving you
Until the dolphin flies and parrots live at sea
I'll be loving you
Until we dream of life and life becomes a dream
I'll be loving you
Until the day is night and night becomes the day
Be loving you
Until the trees and seas up, up and fly away
Be loving you
Until the day that 8x8x8x8 is 4
Loving you
Until the day that is the day that are no more
Loving you
Until the day the earth starts turning right to left
Until the earth just for the sun denies itself
Until dear Mother Nature says her work is through
Until the day that you are me and I am you
Buju Banton's "Untold Stories" always inspires me to persevere academically and be mindful of the opportunities I have, particularly this part:

I say who can afford to run will run,
But what about those who can't, they will have to stay.
Opportunity, a scarce scarce commodity
In these times I say,
when mama spend her last to sent you to class
Never you ever play.
It's a competitive world for low budget people,
Spending the dime while earning the nickel,
With no regards to who it may tickle.
My cup is full to the brim.


Right after my brother died, I remember I stayed up all night, my eyes swollen from crying. In the morning, I hopped in a cab to the airport to take a flight home and James Taylor's "Fire and Rain" was playing on the radio. I've never heard another song that expressed so completely the disbelief and all-encompassing pain one feels after losing a loved one. And of course, now every time I hear it I think of my loss.

Just yesterday morning they let me know you were gone
Susanne the plans they made put an end to you
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song
I just can't remember who to send it to

I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again

Won't you look down upon me, jesus
You've got to help me make a stand
You've just got to see me through another day
My body's aching and my time is at hand
And I won't make it any other way


I try to not let myself get too attached to anything in this world and remember that change is good and necessary. The Indigo Girls' "Everything In Its Own Time" always calms me:

We own nothing, nothing is ours.
Not even love so fierce it burns like baby stars.
But this poverty is our greatest gift -
The weightlessness of us as things around begin to shift.
Remember everything I told you, keep it in your heart like a stone.
And when the winds have blown things round and back again,
What was once your pain will be your home.
Everything in its own time.


Anything by Sam Cooke moves me because the man's voice is just raw with emotion, but "Were You There" with The Soul Stirrers is one that always brings me to tears. Aretha Franklin has a live gospel album that was recorded during a service in her father's church - powerful stuff, especially when you hear all the continuous shouts of love and encouragement from the congregation for an amazing, young, somewhat unsure Aretha. Anything by Sweet Honey In The Rock. Danielle De Niese and Bruno Lazzaretti singing "Vide Cor Meum" (used on the Hannibal soundtrack) is one of the most beautiful love songs I've ever heard.
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
quote:
Originally posted by Kweli4Real:
I just heard a song by some white guy. The line that got me was:

"Fathers be good to your daughters/they will learn to love as you do/they will grow to be lovers and then into mothers/so mothers be good to your daughters too."

That moved me to think of my relationship with my daughter. While it is a great relationship, the song reminded me that I have to be vigilant in the lessons that I teach.


That's some deep stuff.


Kweli, Oshun, I checked out the song on Amazon.com. The title of the song is "Daughters" by John Mayer.
quote:
Originally posted by Huey:
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
quote:
Originally posted by Kweli4Real:
I just heard a song by some white guy. The line that got me was:

"Fathers be good to your daughters/they will learn to love as you do/they will grow to be lovers and then into mothers/so mothers be good to your daughters too."

That moved me to think of my relationship with my daughter. While it is a great relationship, the song reminded me that I have to be vigilant in the lessons that I teach.


That's some deep stuff.


Kweli, Oshun, I checked out the song on Amazon.com. The title of the song is "Daughters" by John Mayer.



A song somewhat along the same line that gets me everytime is "Cats in the Cradle". I try very hard to make the most of my time with children as before you know it, it's too late.


catch

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