When this song came out in 1969 it was electrifying. It was real Jazz. It was accessible enough to be played on pop music stations. And that lyric.
The President, he's got his war- Gene McDaniels - Compared To What
Folks don't know just what it's for
Nobody gives us rhyme or reason
Have one doubt, they call it treason
We're chicken-feathers, all without one nut. God damn it!
Tryin' to make it real — compared to what? (Sock it to me)
In 1969 anti-war protestors were speaking out against the VietNam War. To make this bold statement even in song took real courage. But they spoke full and loud and they were heard.
Now that the election is over I can discuss literary precedent for Rev. Wright without being counter productive. Here's the first verse of "Compared To What".
I love the lie and lie the love- Gene McDaniels - Compared To What
A-Hangin' on, with push and shove
Possession is the motivation
that is hangin' up the God-damn nation
Looks like we always end up in a rut (everybody now!)
Tryin' to make it real — compared to what? C'mon baby!
No Rev. Wright was not the first to God Damn us all. And he won't be the last. The truth is the United States has a checkered history at best and if it takes a song or a poem or a sermon to remind us of that then they are fulfilling their purpose.
Please post your favorite Jazz, anti-war, or any music that changed the world in the comments.