Monday, 28 July 2014

Talkin' bout a revolution. . .

Talkin' bout a revolution by Tracy Chapman was released in 1988.  When this song was released, from what I recall - it was the age of Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, Madonna, Aha, Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi, Metallica, Guns N' Roses, INXS, U2, the list goes on.  The dance moves that were quite popular at the time was the "running man", the "cabbage patch" and the "roger rabbit".  See if you can find those dance moves online :-)

Don't you know
They're talkin' bout a revolution
It sounds like a whisper
Don't you know
They're talkin' bout a revolution
It sounds like a whisper

All it takes for a revolution to begin is a whisper - because a collection of whispers, once confidence grows, builds into a din that can no longer be ignored.  Do you think about how you can be part of a revolution?  I'm not suggesting that you break into your country's parliament buildings and try to force your government out of power.  I mean a self-revolution.  Revolt against the worst parts of yourself (how do you overthrow yourself?).  Hey Manu. . . that sounds suspiciously like evolution.  Well. . . maybe that's what you might need to do.  I think about that all the time. How can I be the best of me?  The best that I can be?

While they're standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation
Wasting time in the unemployment lines
Sitting around waiting for a promotion

When this verse hits, the texture changes because it signals for me that the lyrics talk about groups of people talkin' about a revolution with other people who are in similar socio-economic situations, similar work prospects (or lack thereof).  The use of the organ comes in waves as it washes over me, slyly hinting that something more substantial will happen - but we don't get to hear that until the drum kit kicks in during the "run run run run" section.

Poor people gonna rise up
And get theirs yeah
Poor people gonna rise up 
And take what's theirs

We always talk about the need for change - something that is better than what we currently have.
We talking a change of government, a change of local council, a change of system - these huge systemic changes that need to happen, right down to the a change of tyres, change of diet, change of lifestyle, change of partner or change of hair colour.  If we have too much change in our pockets it makes the pockets heavy, especially if you're just collecting change, I mean, that's what piggybanks are for - to hold and store that loose change.  What's tight change?

Don't you know 
You better run, run, run
Oh I said you better
Run, run, run

Maybe we better run - otherwise if we don't move fast enough, we get caught up in the faceless mob, pushed to the side, possibly fall over and then end up running in the wrong direction, away from where we need to be.  Where do you see yourself running towards?  Will you have the right people running alongside you, while you do more that talk about a revolution?

Finally the tables are starting to turn
Talkin' bout a revolution. . .