Protest Song

Kelly McCartney of The Bluegrass Situation asked me to share some thoughts post-election. I don’t normally post political items on my website. I know people come here for updates on musical things. But these are not normal times.

Like virtually all my musician friends who have spoken out, I’ve been on the receiving end of some vitriol. I’ve been advised to “stick to music” and “keep your politics to yourself”. If you know anything about my music, you know that my politics, along with my worldview, my sense of empathy for the vulnerable and my deep desire to bear witness for the underdog are at the core of my work as a songwriter. I try to speak truth as I see it. So should you. So should we all. I chose a career as a singer/songwriter; at no point did I sign an agreement to be silent about injustice, inequity and above all, hate.

peace,

Gretchen

You can read my op-ed piece at The Bluegrass Situation’s website.

10 Comments

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  1. Thoughtful, eloquent piece, Gretchen. Well said. I don’t subscribe to social media but I’ve been reading lots of comments on Facebook and Twitter with interest. There’s a lot of angry rhetoric and polarised opinions out there. It does seem impossible to imagine that any incoming president, however suitably motivated and skilled, could possibly repair the damage that America (and the wider world) has inflicted on itself. But history has shown us that words, not weapons, have the power to change and heal. It’s up to writers, musicians and artists such as yourself to keep the faith and lead the way. So you go right ahead and say whatever you feel needs to be said.

  2. Disappointed that you seem to have judged the outcome of the President-Elect’s term of office so soon. Maybe it would have been wiser to write about what is happening, rather than what you feel or fear might happen. The liberal left seems to be the most illiberal and vitriolic of all people when they are confronted with a view not in step with their own. The sight of Students at University needing ‘counselling’ to cope with this election result just demonstrates how ridiculous the reaction has been to this event.

  3. We are already experiencing a rate of hate crimes not seen since 9/11. The President-Elect has appointed a racist to be his chief strategist. These things are not predictions; they have already happened. I stand by my words.

  4. Whatever the colour, creed or orientation, are we not all entitled to the same basic human right of Respect from all around us?
    Powerful messages; deserve thought provoking songs, to voice their impact to all.

  5. You are needed more now than ever before, not just as a songwriter but because you are always prepared to speak the truth above all and that is so rare in an artist, many are too panicked that what they say, may hinder their career, but your views and values that I have observed on Twitter and in interviews, always comes from a place of goodness and kindness and I still believe these are the most powerful weapons we have, I do. The truth will out, we are entering into scary territory but I honestly believe it won’t take long before the deciet reveals itself. We have to be strong and keep our beliefs steadfast.

    Plus there is hope, my 14 year old daughter is very politically engaged and enraged about what has happened globally, as are many of her friends who are more clued up than I ever was at her age on issues of race, gender and sexuality. We owe it to them to remain strong and vocal in expressing alternative views (as they sadly now seem) and unearthing and expressing the truth.

  6. Thank you Gretchen! For your beautiful songs & your courageous heart. May your dear son be safe from harm & hate.

  7. Until there is a successful effort to repeal the 1st Amendment, we still have freedom of speech. Please continue to speak your mind in all it’s musical eloquence.

  8. Doesn’t it feel like we are devolving to the 50’s-60’s? Or even farther back when Woody was putting up the mirror to the so-called conservatives of his time? If not for music where would we be? Than and now!!! Please keep singing and writing. And keep the faith. It just means they are afraid of your truth when they try to silence you. If they are so afraid of a song, they do not indicate strength. And their weakness will eventually cause them to stumble. Thank you for your sweet music.

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