Friday, September 12, 2008

Bold Songs: Wanna Be Startin' Something

Echoing Green is having this great contest that I just found out about. The deadline is just a few hours away, but if any of you readers have time I highly encourage you to check out the contest and also their great organization.

For awhile now I've been half-heartedly brainstorming ideas for applying to Echoing Green for one of their fellowships. Send good ideas my way and I'll share the credit with you.

So I submitted my entry to the contest and am waiting with fingers crossed 'til monday when they announce the winner.

Here's my 10-song entry:

A musical journey of self-empowerment designed to motivate you to take a closer look at the world we live in, define our own personal passions and commitments and ultimately to make the world a better place.

1. Michael Jackson - Wanna Be Startin' Something
A call to action to commit to what you stand for whatever it may be

2. Ray Barretto - Together
Uplifting and unifying Latin-Funk anthem from the streets of Harlem, NYC

3. Della Reese - Compared To What
Great cover of the Les McCann/Eugene McDaniels song that was made even more famous by Roberta Flack. This song challenges you to really try and understand the world we live in and make personal decisions that are true to ourselves.

4. Sergio Mendes & Brazil '66 - For What It's Worth
Another cover, this time of Buffalo Springfield. Sometimes hearing an oldie but goodie in a different version lets you listen to the words as if they were new.

5. Dr. John - Patriotic Flag Waiver
Ironic or straight-shooting? Either way, Dr. John reminds us that our personal convictions and affiliations are entirely unique and may embody contradictions.

6. Marvin Gaye - You're The Man, Part 1
Single-only release from Marvin challenging listeners and politicians to "talk to the people" and get involved in our community.

7. Smokey Robinson - Just My Soul Responding
Smokey's most political song and another personal statement about how to live in the world and make it a better place.

8. Richie Havens - Going Back to My Roots
Yet another cover, this one originally by Motown producer/songwriter and solo artist, Lamont Dozier. Richie's legacy as a voice for the marginalized and disenfranchised makes this song a great fit for him with his highly individual style and the song's message of inward searching to make yourself a better person.

9. The Beach Boys - Long Promised Road
The only non-Soul song on here, but penned by brother Carl Wilson who was always the most "soulful" in his writing and performing. This is one of the most empowering and motivational songs I've heard.

10. Stevie Wonder - Heaven is 10 Zillion Light Years Away
One of my all-time favorite Stevie songs. I love his metaphor of the soul as the universe where the outward journey our society needs to make to improve our world is really just the same as the inward journey we all need to make to realize our individual goodness and righteousness.

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