Music Monday – Love Thy Neighbor

No, this isn’t a post about hooking up with the cutie across the hall or having a neighborhood swing-a-thon.  This week’s Music Monday is about caring for your fellow human beings, taking an interest in their plight and helping out in some way.  I’m not saying folks should take up arms to free the oppressed or spend their life savings feeding the poor or quitting their job and becoming a missionary.  I’m just saying you should recognize that, often, there is someone in a worse place in life than you are and that if a chance to help presents itself, consider doing so.
Tears in Heaven
Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne gathered an all-star group to cover Eric Clapton’s Tears in Heaven in 2005, with sales benefiting Disasters Emergency Committee.  The artists included Ozzy and Kelly Osbourne, Elton John, Andrea Bocelli, Mary J. Blige, Rod Stewart, Steven Tyler, and Slash, among others.
We Are The World

There comes a time when we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And it’s time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all

Probably the heavy weight in this post, USA for Africa was a coming together of nearly fifty music’s superstars to create an original song to benefit the USA for Africa Foundation, an organization dedicated to fighting famine and disease in Africa.  “We Are The World” was a huge hit.  The money raised from the song and from Hands Across America, another USA for Africa Foundation event, was almost one hundred million dollars.  Visit the USA for Africa website:

We’re rockers and rappers united and strong
We’re here to talk about South Africa we don’t like what’s going on (tell it)
It’s time for some justice it’s time for the truth (speak it)
We’ve realized there’s only one thing we can do

Spearheaded by Steven Van Zant, Artists United Against Apartheid pledged not to play in the new Sun City casino and resort.
Sing Our Own Song by UB40

When the ancient drum rhythms ring
The voice of our forefathers sings
Forward Africa run
Our day of freedom has come
For me and for you
Amandla Awethu

UB40, in the grand tradition of reggae artists, had a number of songs about the plight of the people and their struggles against government oppression.  I heard “Sing Our Own Song”, which they sang at the 1988’s Free [Nelson] Mandela concert, at the Stadthalle in Heidelberg in 1989 during their Labour of Love tour.  After the concert, I couldn’t get the chant of Amandla Awethu out of my head.  Of course, I’d heard of apartheid, but being a typical teenager, it didn’t really mean anything to me.  Researching Amandla Awethu, I found that it was a popular chant in the struggle against apartheid, meaning “Power to the People.”
It’s funny, sometimes, how the news can blare at you daily about how bad things are in places, how atrocities are being committed, how human rights are being trampled, and how people are starving, but it doesn’t mean anything, doesn’t resonate with you until a songs speaks to you.  “Sing Our Own Song” was the beginning of my real awakening to how bad things are in this world.  Thankfully, apartheid fell in 1994.  Now if more of the issues we’ve heard sung about could get solved, the world would indeed see “a brighter day.”

One Response

  1. Reblogged this on Lorwynd's Thoughts and commented:

    In honor of Nelson Mandela’s passing, I’m reblogging my Music Monday post, Love Thy Neighbor, which included two anti-apartheid songs, Sun City by Artists United Against Apartheid, and Sing Our Own Song by UB40. RIP, Mr. Mandela. Your struggles impacted the world in positive ways!

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