I do this often. I wrap a deliberately saccharine tune around a message that can be hard to swallow for some people.
Damn the Dam, for instance, much loved now, was seen as a ‘protest song’ when released nearly 50 years ago. Because back then environmentalism — like pacificism — was pretty much regarded as the domain of tree-huggers and pinkos.
(It’s both amazing and gratifying to me how points of view that were once considered anti-establishment are pretty much universally shared now.)
My new album NAKED TRUTHS is so entitled because among the songs you’ll find my usual smattering of social commentary wrapped in musical coats of various colours. In a sense they are a bit like chocolate covered coffee beans, except the crunchy cores of these songs aren’t so much bitter as they are ironic.
Perhaps the best example of this would be the song ISN’T IT A LOVELY DAY.
It has a tune that’s almost guaranteed to worm its way into your brain and get little children dancing. An undeniably sweet melody with a joyful sentiment in its happy chorus.
But within this dulcet camouflage I give you some thoughts to chew on. Not to put a downer on your enjoyment of beautiful days but to remind all of us that it pays to retain a little perspective.
And in an age of increasingly polarized points of view I believe we could all use a little perspective.