Pandemic Playlist: Our Top 5 Michael Jackson songs that can heal and unite us all amid these dark times
Hey there, music-loving friends. As the reality of life as we know it continues to splinter and disintegrate at an alarming rate, we can at least take solace in the fact that the healing power of music can still change our world. Whether it's the pain, loss, and heartbreak brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, or the tension and strife caused by the recent nationwide protests in the wake of George Floyd's death, music remains something we can cling on to, like a comforting security blanket. So when the music of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson recently started trending on Twitter, we realized MJ's timeless music was the perfect playlist for our times, full of hope, healing, and energetic grooves that make you want to dance your troubles away. And considering that it's also Pride Month, and that Michael Jackson's music was all about inclusivity, acceptance and transcending barriers, he's probably the perfect person to turn to for today's pandemix. So let's soak up the gorgeous voice of the one-love, one-gloved king once again!
Pandemic Playlist - Michael Jackson Edition
'Black Or White'
Let's kick things off with this catchy classic about racial tolerance that melded rock, pop, and rap as far back as 1991. In the wake of the recent Black Lives Matter protests, racial tensions have been simmering at a boiling point between black and white folks across the nation. This is a throwback to simpler times, as Michael Jackson exhorted us to not judge a person based on the color of their skin and instead accept everyone for what they were, a member and worthy citizen of the global human race. Some notable sections from the song's lyrics include - "See, it's not about races / Just places, faces / Where your blood comes from / Is where your space is / I've seen the bright get duller / I'm not going to spend my life being a color."
'They Don't Care About Us'
This was one of the most-mentioned songs of Michael Jackson in the recent Twitter poll since it perfectly captures the sentiment that most people have been expressing about the people in power today. Whether it's regarding the clumsy handling of the coronavirus or the threat to our civil liberties in general, this 1995 protest song's lyrics completely encapsulate what our bleeding hearts really want to say to the big wigs in big buildings - "All I want to say is that they don't really care about us." Michael Jackson said this about the track, "The song in fact is about the pain of prejudice and hate and is a way to draw attention to social and political problems. I am the voice of the accused and the attacked. I am the voice of everyone... It is about the injustices to young people and how the system can wrongfully accuse them."
This is another gorgeous MJ classic from 1995 that turns an eye on our home planet, Mother Earth. With this pop masterpiece, Michael Jackson wanted to tell the world how important it was to prioritize eco-conservation in light of the fact that we all need to survive on this watery rock floating in space for as long as possible. The song also had a gorgeous music video that was partly filmed in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania, a sanctuary for giant elephants. The lyrics are simple and compelling, including thought-provoking lines like - "Did you ever stop to notice / All the children dead from war? / Did you ever stop to notice / This crying Earth, these weeping shores?" That hooky chorus can get stuck in your head for days, the hallmark of a great pop song.
'Man In The Mirror'
This powerful No 1 hit from 1988 hits hard, because the message of this gospel-like number is eternally relevant, even in today's times. It echoes the sentiment of Mahatma Gandhi's quote, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world" with the lyrics "I'm starting with the man in the mirror / I'm asking him to change his ways / And no message could have been any clearer/ If you wanna make the world a better place / Take a look at yourself and then make a change." The music video also features a powerful montage of clips that includes children in Africa, Martin Luther King Jr, the Kent State shootings, Adolf Hitler, the Ku Klux Klan, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, and other historical figures.
'Heal The World'
This 1992 hit is a gentle and peaceful call to action and would have topped the charts had it not been for another classic, Whitney Houston's 'I Will Always Love You' claiming the No 1 spot. Ten years later, Michael Jackson admitted to fans that this was the song he was most proud of having created. It contains a timeless message that asks us to not only consider the lives and fates of the people around us, but also the future generations who will one day inherit this planet. As the great man himself once said, “In a world filled with hate, we must still dare to hope. In a world filled with anger, we must still dare to comfort. In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream. And in a world filled with distrust, we must still dare to believe." Those are still words to live by, so let's take a moment to let those words sink in, along with his enduring music!
Pandemic Playlist is a daily list of songs that will keep you entertained instead of feeling drained while you're isolated at home. Look out for a fresh selection of great tunes from MEAWW to refresh your mood every day!