I’m a huge fan of cover songs. I see a cover song as an immortalization of the original artist’s creative soul. When another musician revitalizes the poetry, whether verbal or instrumental, the interpretation ignites a unifying nostalgia between the performer and the audience. Yeah, I know that’s a pretty romantic way to put it.
I had a kind of epiphany as I was looking over my students’ posts after our blues unit. I teach an online world music class and part of the students’ participation grade is to post weekly thoughts, questions, ideas, etc. on our discussion board. I couldn’t help but notice how many times they wrote: “the blacks’ music”; “their music”; and so on in reference to the blues. The blues is so essential to American popular music, but my students still see it as something separate, as something other.
It’s not everyday that you turn on the radio and hear a song so poetically empowering, it sets you in motion for considerable cultural change. I mean, this is the kind of song that makes me want to roll down my ’87 station wagon windows and sing it for every car in rush hour traffic to hear!
“The Body Electric” is the name of this contemporary protest song written by the Americana folk singer, Alynda Lee Segarra. Based out of New Orleans, Alynda is the leading lady of Hurray For the Riff Raff and released her new album called Small Town Heroes in 2014.