Week #51: A Thoughtless Whisper

Anytime anyone releases their creations out into the world, there’s always a possibility that people will hate it, criticize it, tear it apart, enjoy it silently or completely ignore it.

We have no control how people will respond to whatever it is that we’re sharing and as I get closer to the end of the 52 Weeks in 2021 project, all I can do is keep putting my songs out there and hope for the best.

This week’s song – No. 51 already, only one more to go! – is a commentary on our current society. I wrote it back in 2015 after reading an article in the New York Times about how people’s lives were ruined by posts on Twitter.

Here’s what I wrote about it in a previous blog post:

After reading an article in the New York Times about how a woman’s life was destroyed with one tweet, I was inspired to write this next song. Although she only had 170 followers on Twitter, the 30-year-old’s post got shared and after an 11-hour flight, she had received tens of thousands of angry responses to her tweet, her name was trending worldwide and she lost her job.

The article also told the story about a man who whispered an inappropriate joke to a co-worker sitting next to him. A woman in the row in front of them overheard, snapped his picture and shared it on social media, with a note explaining the kind of comment he had made. Ten minutes later, he and his friend got pulled out of the room to discuss it and he was fired the next day.

When I was in junior high or high school, I read “Nineteen Eighty-Four” by George Orwell and was horrified at the prospect of living in a world like that, where Big Brother would be watching every move. In this society, citizens are under constant surveillance by the authorities: “Big Brother is Watching You.”

It occurred to me that although our society didn’t turn out quite that way, today’s citizens take it upon themselves to monitor each other – and punish them for things they deem inappropriate.

Here are the lyrics to the song, “Thoughtless Whisper.”

A thoughtless whisper becomes a worldwide trend
We’ve gone too far, we can’t go back again
Everyone’s a witness with a camera in hand
Gathering evidence against their fellow man

1984 has nothing on the 21st century
Contemporary war with verbal, viral enemies

What was once a passing thought now lives on and travels far
Once it escapes into cyberspace, hatred attacks and leaves its scar
What was once a private life can unravel with a few words
Global venom quickly spreads, poisoning the universe

1984 has nothing on the 21st century
Contemporary war with verbal, viral enemies

Little brother’s always watching
Like paparazzi for the masses
Lying broken on the sidewalk
Is a pair of rose-colored glasses.

When I look at the written lyrics, it’s obvious that the song structure is off – the lines in the second verse are way longer then those in the first verse and the two verses have different melodies. I wrote this before I learned about basic song structure, but I still really like the song.

When I first recorded it (vocals and guitar with a tape recorder), it started with the same chords and strumming as the majority of my songs did at that time. I decided to try recording an electronic version of it, using Logic Pro and I’m including both versions here.

Acoustic recording from six years ago (2015):

Electronic version from this week (2021):

Hope you’re enjoying your holiday season and please remember to be kind…

1 Comment

  1. Like your other songs, the message in this song and the poetry of these lyrics are so true to the currents driving our everyday lives. Little brother is both watching your every move and recalling everything you ever said and did. That plus the cancel culture, is it better to conform and keep quiet or to be the outspoken rebel?

    I wouldn’t change the message to fit the song structure — I would change the song structure to go with the writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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