Politics was on the mind of most Americans in fall 2016, with all the craziness going on in the political arena. I try not to publicly comment on my political beliefs because of all the negativity and anger that typically results from political dialogue these days, but I couldn’t help myself in November 2016.
You got what you wanted, now whatcha gonna do?
The future of our world is dependent on you
Now you have the power, the highest in the land
Glaring from your tower down at your fellow man
It was a time of heated debates and personal attacks on social media and the subject of many of these debates was busy hurling insulting tweets about people. I was shocked to see the newly elected leader of our country had such poor impulse control. I silently implored him to put his phone down and STOP it!
But actions matter more
Think before you speak
Listen before you roar
All of a sudden it seemed if this negativity and hatred was spreading through the country, with individuals and groups taking his lead in spewing hateful comments, which sometimes led to violent attacks.
You’ve unleashed the demons, endorsing hateful views
Progress shifts direction with so much to lose
Faith trembles, hope nowhere to be found
An apprentice ruler trying on his crown
In case you missed it, the “hope” refers to Obama’s term, the “tower” refers to the Trump Tower and the “apprentice” line refers to Trump’s reality show “The Apprentice” (which I watched in its first season, which was part of the reason the election felt so surreal.)
When I woke up, I hoped it was all a dream
Changing the channels in disbelief
When I brought this song to the songwriting workshop, we had a little discussion about political songs and how they rarely make it on the radio, but often end up to be important to songwriters because of the relevance to the time period. (Think the protest songs of the ’70s.)
Apparently it was pretty evident that it was inspired by the election because I didn’t say anything beforehand about it and R figured it out right away.
The feedback from my song specifically was one person liked the rhythm, one person suggested I sing the chorus a little differently and one person wrote a slightly angry comment on his copy of the lyric sheet about the line “you’ve unleashed the demons, endorsing hateful views.”
Political songs like the classics from Dylan and CCR are amazing time capsules for the feelings of that era. Your song is chillingly accurate for today’s feelings.