1 Feb 2009

Soul Siren: Part 4

It's a Sunday. And it's a Sunday where Obama is President. But it's a Sunday where the world is still creaking under the weight of hate, intolerance and suffering. So in this time of hope and inequality there is only one lady we can go to. Mavis Staples.

As the lead vocal in The Staple Singers she, surrounded by her family and standing alongside Martin Luther King, represented the defiance and dignity of the civil rights movement. Her voice is simply amazing. I find it a real joy to sit down, wander through town or work, while listening to The Staple Singers and Mavis' ability to fit so much into a single song.

In nearly all of the The Staple Singers output she manages to convey simultaneously anger at the oppressor, disaproval at others' inaction, defiance, compassion and a call for action. Tracks like When Will We Get Paid or Respect Yourself are full of this microcosm of struggle.

I was looking for a good youtube video for this post and was looking for one for Are You Sure but as soon as I stumbled across this live performance of Reach Out, Touch A Hand, Make A Friend where the half way through the song becomes a wonderful gospel sermon, my search was over.

So to the music. I have chosen three songs which I think encapsulate my thoughts above. I See It and Are You Sure both provide hope and action while Oh La De Da is a joyous gospel treat.

No to crude national profiling. Jobs for all workers.

Mavis Staples - I See It
Mavis Staples - Are You Sure
Mavis Staples - Oh La De Da

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