Remember that song by Bobby McFerrin from 1988, Don’t Worry, Be Happy. It won the Grammy for Song of the Year and got listeners humming it’s simple optimistic words. Well this is 2016 and there is no equivalent song to get people feeling good about themselves. For those depressed about the victory of Donald Trump there is Alicia Keys’, Holy War, while those who are overjoyed about the new president bringing change and draining the swamp there is The Weekend’s Star Boy. And for those who are in the category of let’s wait and see, there is the Chainsmokers Don’t Let Me Down.
Popular songs, no matter what the message and the connection to our political life, may just be the antidote we need these days. Music has often been the way we relax and enjoy the wordsmith of our favorite artists. Yet every day, if you pay attention to the machinations of electoral politics, music now competes with our crazed politics. We live in a time that is a confusing downer with hacking, post-truth, charges and counter-charges, and those damn Russians. This is supposed to be the quiet interregnum after the election when we pay attention to the joy of the season, familiar songs, family, and burning a hole in our credit card. We should not be bombarded with constitutional crises, Internet conspiracies, blowhard pundits and those damn Russians.
I would suggest that we all crank up those FM stations and listen to the songs of the season – O Come All Ye Faithful, Santa Claus in Coming To Town, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Silent Night. These traditional songs may not win a Grammy Award like the work of Alicia Keys, The Weekend and the Chainsmokers, but we need a break from all the political noise.
Sadly though, political life in this country is not going to get any quieter. The noise will become deafening. We all need a break before January 20th and music whether popular or traditional is absolutely necessary. I’d like Don’t Worry, Be Happy to get a new lease on life because Donald Trump for good or bad will be the 45th President of the United States and we need to do our best to make our lives and our country whole again.