Celebrating Martin Luther King Day…”Dream. Believe. Unite. Do.”  Three Songs Of Remembrance…

Honoring The Late Dr. Martin Luther King…

Today is an important holiday in the US, as we honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, and use this day as well to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.

Martin Luther King Day is the only federal holiday commemorating an African-American, and has honored his life and legacy since 1986.

“Dream. Believe. Unite. Do.”

His words resonate more today than ever, as we struggle to come together amid unnecessary hate and division. We are living through unprecedented times, and the rhetoric has been hurtful and violent.

I read these quotes and see how we can still use them all moving forward – and realize how polarized our country is when polls show vast number of Republicans who don’t think we should celebrate his legacy….very sad.

There have been a number of songs written about King, and here are three that resonated with me – I have included the original notes shared by the person who posted them:

Neil Diamond: Dry Your Eyes (1976)

Neil Diamond and Robbie Robertson of The Band wrote “Dry Your Eyes” for the album Beautiful Noise. Robertson said the song was inspired by “how many people felt after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.” In 2017, Diamond began performing it again on his world tour – a song he had not performed live since showcasing it for Martin Scorsese’s film The Last Waltz. Diamond said, “It’s been relegated to the attic. I think it’s due to come out after 40 years.”

Stevie Wonder: Happy Birthday (1981)

Stevie Wonder met King when he was a teenage singing sensation. Wonder remembers crying at the news of the assassination, which he heard on a car radio as he was being driven home from Michigan School For The Blind. In 1980, Wonder joined with the members of the Congressional Black Caucus in the US Congress to speak out for the need to honor the day King was born. He went on a nationwide tour – along with Gil Scott-Heron – performing “Happy Birthday,” a song that was instrumental in helping to establish the national holiday commemorating King’s birth, for which reason it will forever remain one of the best Martin Luther King songs. Above soaring keyboard synthesizers, Wonder sings, “There ought to be a time/That we can set aside/To show just how much we love you.”

My wife and I were lucky enough to see this amazing Artist perform his entire iconic album “Song In The Key Of Life” LIVE!

Here is a clip from that show, his joyful song “I Wish”:

One of the most powerful songs ever written about Dr. King was from the Irish group U2:

U2: Pride (In The Name Of Love) (1984)

Bono was inspired to write “Pride (In The Name of Love)” after reading Stephen B Oates’ biography of King, Let The Trumpet Sound. Not only one of the best Martin Luther King songs, U2’s hit is one of the iconic rock songs of the 80s, on which Chrissie Hynde of Pretenders sings backing vocals. The lyrics contain one factual error. Bono wrote, “Early morning, April four/Shot rings out in the Memphis sky,” though the assassination actually took place at 6.01pm.

Again, this is a day to remember a great person who continues to have a huge impact on our lives…

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I am inspired by reading some of Dr. King’s most famous quotes, and try to use his inspiration every day to help make the world a better place…



Categories: 70's Music, Art, Books / Media, Classic Rock, Memoirs, Music, Pop Culture, Talent/Celebrities

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

5 replies

  1. what a wonderful tribute post to this amazing man, John.

    Like

  2. This is a wonderful post, John. Thank you. Thank goodness there are many artists who carry on his message. I still can’t let go of Elvis’s song.

    Like

  3. These are all great songs honouring an amazing man. I also like Elvis Presley’s song, If I Can Dream, which I believe was inspired by Martin Luther King, a man he admired.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. His ‘I have a dream’ speech resonated with me, even though I was only 11 years old when I watched it on the TV news. I still find it just as powerful today.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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