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Friday, October 29, 2010

Socially Conscious Music - Tracy Chapman

My ipod stopped working about a month ago, so rather than replace it I've taken to watching music videos on Youtube.  As I was browsing, I came across a Tracy Chapman music video and suddenly all my childhood memories from Zimbabwe came flooding back.  It was a great period of my life and even my country's economy was great.  Looking back Tracy Chapman's music had a huge influence on me because her songs raised questions about things I had never considered important at my young age.  She came to Zimbabwe in 1988 with Bruce Springsteen. Everyone was excited about Bruce Springsteen but no one knew who Tracy was.  In fact my parents are the ones who purchased her album which I didn't take to right away.  Little did I know I would play it more than anyone else in the family.  Without Tracy's music, I may never have deveoped an interest in social causes. 

As I listened to all my favorite songs - Sorry, Material World, Fast Car, Freedom Now, SubCity, Behind the Wall and  Why, I thought how amazing and underappreciated she is - she's a True Genius....
Material World, SubCity and Behind the Wall mean so much more now that I live in New York City where life is fast and you feel the need to get away, people are lonely yet surrounded by millions of people, people are starving yet fresh food is being thrown away daily, and yes, there is a city underground (SubCity) - it really exisits right here in the most famous and one of the richest  cities in the world.  Her lyrics are simple but they make you think. Take "Why" for example:

Why do the babies starve when there's enough food to feed the world ?
Why when there're so many of us are there people still alone ?
Why are the missiles called peace keepers when they're aimed to kill ?
Why is a woman still not safe when she's in her home?

Love is hate - War is peace - No is yes - And we're all free  (we really are confused aren't we?)

All logical questions with no valid answers........