It's a song about justice

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by Jan Seides
Sunday 27th September, 2009, 10:31pm

I used to wonder, even as I was writing one, what possible good it could do to write and sing a song about political or social problems. I used to think that if I really wanted to do something to improve the world, I should get out and….I don’t know….demonstrate in the streets….work against the established authority….whatever. Change the collective mind.

In fact, one day when I was in my twenties, I really did entertain for awhile the notion of joining the underground and working outside the system. I considered whether or not I could actually do any good that way, or just get into trouble. The very next afternoon, some of the aforesaid underground blew up a house in East 11th Street in New York City killing about 5 people as I recall, and I decided I would take the more usual and less deadly route of marching and carrying signs.

And writing songs.

But still….

Today I finished (as much as they ever are) a song called “Behind Closed Doors”, and as I practiced it, I wondered about the effectiveness of a song about a problem. Does it change anyone’s mind? More to the point, does it change anyone’s actions? And here’s my postulation: If one person hears this song, and as a result starts talking…decides to come out in the open….seeks help, then the song has done something important. Maybe not all it could do. Maybe not all I could do. But something.

It remains to be seen whether that’s true. I may never know.

Category: Music

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