Monday, August 24, 2009

Being Marvin Gaye

Here is my favorite singer, Marvin Gaye, in a live performance of "What's Going On." The lyrics to this song are great too. He asks a pertinent question that we should each be asking today: "What's going on right now, people?"

Here is 9:05 minutes of pure perfection.

"What's Going On"

Mother, mother
There's too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There's far too many of you dying
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today - Ya

Father, father
We don't need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer
For only love can conquer hate
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today

Picket lines and picket signs
Don't punish me with brutality
Talk to me, so you can see
Oh, what's going on
What's going on
Ya, what's going on
Ah, what's going on

In the mean time
Right on, baby
Right on
Right on

Father, father, everybody thinks we're wrong
Oh, but who are they to judge us
Simply because our hair is long
Oh, you know we've got to find a way
To bring some understanding here today

Picket lines and picket signs
Don't punish me with brutality
Talk to me
So you can see
What's going on
Ya, what's going on
Tell me what's going on
I'll tell you what's going on - Uh
Right on baby
Right on baby


Brosreview said...

Oh! Thanks for sharing this Judith! Beautiful lyrics! Just beautiful!

Judith Ellis said...

Hi Ajey, my young talented thoughtful friend. I am so happy you enjoyed this song. It is beautiful! How are things with you? Sent you an email to no reply a little while back. Hope all is well.

John O'Leary said...

Great singer, great songwriter, great performer, great producer, great arranger, great musician. Most people don't know he was a top-notch studio drummer in the early Motown years.

Judith Ellis said...

Yes, John, to all of those greats! I didn't know that he was a drummer early on. But it does not surprise me in the very least. He was so incredibly talented. You were a drummer too early on, eh? I also like the video here. It's so back in the day, the afros, bell bottoms, cars, and other images. They go so well with the lyrics. I'm just thinking...where are the likes of Marvin Gaye today?

septembermom said...

I've always loved Marvin Gaye's voice and musicality. A legend. Thanks for the video and lyrics. These lyrics are a plea for self-empowerment. Marvin's anthem will be a powerful catalyst for social change through all time. Wouldn't this be a cool song to played at a political rally today?

Judith Ellis said...

A legend indeed, Kelly, and he's quite the singer and musician, not to mention he ain't bad to look at either, eh? :-) I completely agree that it's an anthem and can be a great catalyst. With all of the things that are going with Wall Street, health care, increased unemployment and poverty, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, this should be our current national anthem. What's going on???

Marion said...

He's one of my favorites, too, Judith. I love this song. My favorite album of his is "Sexual Healing". He's a master songwriter! Love & Blessings!

Judith Ellis said...

Yeah, that's a great song too, Marion. Blessings also to you.

Dave Wheeler said...


"Oh, you know we've got to find a way
To bring some understanding here today"...if there was ever a time we need to make this a reality it's now!

People not Politics! 21st century challenges aren't going to be solved with a continuation of 1960's programs and policies. "We the People" got some work to do...

Bonnie Bonsai said...

There are so many things going on in the world today both good and bad.

I heard many old folks asked, "what went wrong?"

I'm not in a position to answer their question. I can't offer any at the moment. But I guess I have an idea.

Love is the word that would heal us all our problems, our woes, our sorrows expressed by crying and dying.

For God is Love.

Great song from Marvin Gaye. Simply beautiful!

Judith Ellis said...

"We have to find a way to get some understanding here today."

I completely agree, Dave. "In all of your getting, get understanding."

Regarding the programs of the 60's, the constant review of these programs or any others for effectiveness and efficiency is necessary. The Glass- Steagall Act of 1933 was excellent. We got rid of it and looked at what happened on Wall Street. It's not about just throwing stuff away but using proper judgment always and reviewing acts and programs constantly and wisely.

Some 60's programs undoubtedly need revisiting and there are many that were good but have never effectively implemented. But it would not matter about the implementation if the follow-through has been lousy from the start and there are no adjustments along the way.

Good ideas need constant adjustments and review whether programs or acts. While it takes an act of Congress to allow programs, some acts are preventive measures and while they need review we need to thoroughly understand why they were implemented in the first place.

As it relates to acts like the Glass-Steagall, it appears that they were stripped for the allowance of total corporate control which means that the interests of the People are thwarted in favor of corporations. Corporations are driven by profit for the few and without acts there would be little morality. Unjust labor practices are still widely practiced the world over.

Is this not the great benefit of profitable outsourcing or the take-over of corporation even in war for their self-benefit? The question is who profits--the likes of Blackwater who operate without the representative of the People via our representative even in covert operations? Our men in uniform can't do the work which requires $150 million dollar no-bid contacts?

With regards to unions, I completely agree that in many cases unions have out-bid themselves and corporations have insulated their executives and other ineffective team members in a cycle of astronomical bonuses and inefficient and non-sustainable programs that require bailouts and are repeated again and again. Now, there’s a gravy train. But instead we want to talk hyperbolically about affordable health care for every American and getting rid of music and sports programs in schools that are necessary for balance.

Talk about the lack of understanding! Or, is it all by design where the rich get richer and the middle class and poor get poorer while the same finance exploits and wealthy welfare bailout packages repeatedly?

Judith Ellis said...

Bonnie - It's good to have you here. I like the way you began your comment. Sometimes in times of distress we forget the good. While there is plenty of good in the world right now, there is plenty of ill. I agree that love is most definitely the more excellent way. The question is how is this love operational in activities of all kind?

Considering others in all of our dealing is necessary. While I am not against competition, as it brings out the best often times, I am against stacking the cards in favor of a few to the detriment of others largely.

The same people that rail about government intervention are largely benefiting from it such as corporate America. The same people that rail about the lack of government intervention want to tell a woman what she can do with her body and Terri Schiavo's husband what he ought to do with his incapacitated wife. It can't be had both ways!

Happy you like the song, Bonnie!

John O'Leary said...

Not that you asked, but my favorite MG song is "Let's Get It On" - a vocal masterpiece that's so off-the-charts superior it precipitated the exodus of a whole generation of white soul singers who decided to find day jobs after hearing it. (I also love "My Mistake" though poor Diana couldn't keep up with him on the duet.)

Bonnie Bonsai said...

If there is anyone that is incapacitated in this world, it is the people running the government lawlessly and the lawless people behind that lawless government. A quick recipe for a chaotic world, alas Judith.

I really wonder and curious like a child and asked myself, "where is the government of the people, for the people and by the people" now?

Does it still exist? Or only in the book of History and is now tagged "famous quote?".

Very sad for the vulnerables and the defenseless are the one who are being "punished with brutality" - brutality of injustice. Sigh.

Mind if I preserve this Comment?

Judith Ellis said...

Oh, John, "Let's Get it On!" I laughed out loud on those singers who couldn't compete with the great one. Funny! The sheer vocal variety and range in "What's Going On" are extraordinary!

Judith Ellis said...

Good points, Bonnie, about a representative democracy,which should be a reflection of the people, such as we have here in the United States.

I don't know about anywhere else in the world but here in the US self-interest seems to rule, the interest of those we elect duly influenced by powerful lobbyists. As human nature remains the same the world over, I assume that such interests are widespread even if the system or mechanism vary.

You may always link my post. It's my pleasure really. Your comment blog is kinda cool. But how do you keep up with 16 blogs!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tim Pernell said...

Marvin Gaye was ahead of his time and it was no clearer of that THAN "What's Going On". All those issues he spoke so eloquently just ABOUT 40 years ago still reigns true today. My favorite artist of all time! RIP!

Judith Ellis said...

Right on, Tim! I love your blog. Do pass through again.