Like Martin Said

31 Dec

In my view, it’s time to start studying the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King again.

In these crazy times, we need him now more than ever.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Dr. King lately, for obvious reasons.

He has inspired me since I was a child.

I don’t mean to sound corny, or worshipful. But MLK is the greatest, or among the greatest, Americans who ever lived. By extension, he was one of the greatest men ever, period.

His vision, to me, shines a light on how we can heal the country.

I sincerely believe we need a healing, a mass healing. We need to start with the truth and compassion, and end with dignity for all. And in this world, it’s okay for us to all be on the same team. It’s okay to be fellow Americans, and have that mean something… something beyond our personal politics… beyond our immediate self interests… something higher, nobler, uplifting… something truthful.

I see that truth embedded in the Constitution and embodied in people like Lincoln, Jefferson, King, the Kennedys, Eisenhower and others.

It’s those values, expressed in the Constitution, and by extension our homes, churches and institutions, whose existence is protected by the Constitution… These values are what connect us, down deep… across all lines, racial, social, financial, political and otherwise.

Dr. Martin Luther King embodied these values… which I first felt when reading his Letter to a Birmingham Jail at a social-justice rally back in my college days. (Long story, but I was invited to speak by the president of the Black Student Union, after the college paper I worked for offended the BSU with a totally ridiculous “editorial.” Kenny and I shook hands and got to know and respect each other, eventually. It culminated with him honoring me with that invitation. I’ll never forget it.)

It was in Dr. King’s honor — and in honor of all my African American brothers and sisters, and by extension all of us — that I wrote this song.

Final note. I have actually wondered if I was worthy of writing a song about Dr. King. Who am I to tackle such a daunting subject?

But in the end, the truth is the truth. And I love the man and what he stood for.

I also write songs.

And I wanted to write a song that addressed these troubled times with a spirit of love, in the tradition of King himself.

So here is my best attempt.

Like Martin Said.

6 Responses to “Like Martin Said”

  1. Tim Livingston January 1, 2018 at 11:14 pm #

    You’ve really found YOU’RE voice. Great song. Powerful. Love to you. Happy New Year.

    • The Publisher January 10, 2018 at 1:49 am #

      Oh man, Tim – wow. I’m very satisfied with your observation, I have to admit. I need to ponder what that might mean for a minute. But thank you for that. I have been sensing that a little lately, but I often wonder if I suffer from cryptamnesia at times. You have a riff so deep in your head — some old Morrison line or something — and it bubbled back out 20 years later and you think you thought of it… or it just came from your soul. And maybe it did, but it was put there by Van Morrison, etc. Anyway, love you man. I can’t wait to hear your next one.

  2. Tim Livingston January 1, 2018 at 11:15 pm #

    I meant YOUR voice.

    • The Publisher January 10, 2018 at 1:51 am #

      Thank goodness you corrected that — I would have doubted your identity. We must hold the line. We must use contractions appropriately. Or the fall of man is sure to follow.

  3. Dennis January 22, 2018 at 2:43 am #

    Dig it. Always a dynamic with a great chorus. But it’s the lyrics. Meaningful, interesting, and soulful. Thx for sharing,

    • The Publisher March 5, 2018 at 10:20 pm #

      Dennis, thanks so much, man. Wow. I’m humbled, sincerely. And one day… hopefully sooner rather than later… I would love to play and sing with you again. Love ya, brother.

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