Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “What the World Needs Now Is Love”

“What the World Needs Now Is Love,” an eternally relevant song, was written in 1965 by Hal David (lyrics) and Burt Bacharach (music). It’s a plea to the creator.

Oh listen, lord, if you want to know.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No, not just for some but for everyone.

With all the unprecedented hurricanes of Biblical magnitude, earthquakes and fires, combined with threats of nuclear war. I found myself searching online about the book of “Revelations” and end times this week. (Note: I didn’t find anything helpful. The self-described Christians think end times is a wonderful future and some believe the orange oaf is a positive player in ending life on Earth.) We don’t have a friendly ally in the Administration in Washington. I have never lived at a time so out of control and perilous. It’s hard to focus, let alone make decisions pertaining to the future. It’s all so horrifying and exhausting that end times might be a welcome relief!

Just last week, that ridiculous oompa loompa provoked nuclear war while addressing the United Nations and we have the remainder of the month to fight to keep health care – again! It’s a moment to moment battle with the Republicans and their clan leader. We must remember a universal truth that good always triumphs over bad. However, goodness has to get into the dirty fight to win. “What the World Needs Now Is Love” reminds us that in this epic battle for our democracy, what we strive to achieve is a greater good for all. All those who denounce cruelty on every level are in this together.

There are so many versions of today’s interlude, from Dionne Warwick to the earlier pop version by Jackie DeShannon and a solo recording by Burt Bacharach, as well as versions he did with Tom Jones and Elvis Costello. You will find many artists’ versions of the song. One was recorded last year by a host of  Broadway artists following the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shootings. And it accompanied scenes from Austin Powers and 1969’s Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice. I searched for an unplugged version by Burt Bacharach because surely one exists from some old TV show but the only one I could find was a shortened version he performed at the White House with the Obamas. I just wanted his craggy voice and piano. It had to be simple and live and Burt! I settled for two out of three:

 

Jackie DeShannon gives such a pure and simple delivery.

These past few weeks, I’ve felt so weary from our country’s condition. That’s why the chaos. It’s intentional. We must not give up. Vigilance is vital. There’s a reason why this song is still relevant and so many artists have recorded it. Love will trump hate. Let this song remind us all

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Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “Crippled Inside”

Mom and I loved this song from the “Imagine” album by John Lennon. We often quoted the words when we saw hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is one of those traits that is simply repulsive. Agree?

As a personal defense our American society has now required of all others who are not angry, white guys, I walk with more purpose and confidence. And I often softly sing songs of defiance, which gives me an external, intellectual protection. Having a troubadour’s words, like those of Lennon, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, The Dixie Chicks, Simon and Garfunkel, Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen (RIP) and others at my lips gives me Wonder Woman bracelets, if only metaphorically. But I think it’s more than metaphoric; it’s that band of we the people. I softly sang this song in a parking lot, surrounded by men in pick up trucks, glancing at me with suspicion, suspicion I may have intellect or my own opinion. Why disappoint?

“You can go to church and sing a hymn
You can judge me by the color of my skin
You can live a lie until you die
One thing you can’t hide
Is when you’re crippled inside.”

 

I can’t imagine how my country will look in only a few short days. The anxiety, fear and depression is palpable. It is in the eyes of everyone I see. A few smug racists (if not racist, OK with racists in the Oval Office) prance around. Some have guns strapped to their thighs, in no way an obvious expression of over-compensation. But most, and the majority who cast a vote on November 8th, are physically sick.

But take heart by the words in this song. We who are crippled by this horrible tyrant right now will rise. We have joy in our souls, while they have dark hearts. Lennon’s upbeat, ragtime melody is evidence of this fact! Love always trumps hate. And it is a fact, one thing you can’t hide is when you’re crippled inside.