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Notes on TRUE POWER
I feel a responsibility as a musician and a songwriter to speak up about what’s on my heart, and what’s going on in the world. With all of the fear and hatred that’s being pumped into our collective consciousness, and then converted into public policy, I can’t be complacent and let these actions normalize.
My heroes - folks like Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone, Joan Baez, Stevie Wonder - used their voices to speak up about the issues of their time. Their songs empowered movements, and helped enable real change. However, even today, I hear it all the time - “Get your politics out of your music. Keep those issues to yourself.” But when political leaders threaten the lives of our planet and its people, it stops being an issue of politics alone. My musicality and my humanity are impossible to separate - they come from the same source. It would be dishonest to express one without the other. My love for rhythm, harmony, and story sharing is woven in with my compassion for the Earth and its people. Songs can be powerful tools used in their defense.
I’ve spent most of my musical life writing about the things that make my heart sing. Love, in its many forms; nature, human connection, the search for the divine; finding glimpses of it in places big and small. It’s been my goal to provide a source of joy and reverence through music. However, I trust that sometimes the most loving choice is not just to focus on the positive, but to look fear and hatred in the face when they arise, and call them out for what they are. As a young, queer, woman, an environmentalist, and someone who believes in equality and human rights for people of all races, faiths, and cultural backgrounds, I can’t sit back and be a silent witness to injustice.
As disheartening as the past year of this presidency has been, I’ve also never felt as inspired or as called to action as I do now. For all of the division, I’m also witnessing people coming together and working in community, using their gifts in creative ways to make an impact. Having difficult conversations about real issues. Learning together. Organizing and showing up. It gives me hope - and marching orders. Donald Trump may have bought and bullied his way into the presidency, but true power is in the hands of the people when they come together. That’s what this song is about.
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain
Soak up the scandals, honey, drink up the diversion
Ignore the voices of the poor and sick and hurting
Here's to the one percent, we’re clearly more deserving
Almighty dollar is my lover and my savior
Transport my golden throne to 16 Pennsylvania
Do not believe a thing you’re reading in the papers
The only truth is what is written in my favor
True power can’t be bought or stolen
If you build a wall of hatred, prepare to watch it crumble
We will not be silent, no, can’t you hear the thunder
So listen fear monger, your days are numbered
My daddy told me if I want it I can get it
The world’s my oyster and your body is my business
I put my tiny hands wherever I can fit them
Do not dissent or you’ll be fired like The Apprentice
I’m nothing if I’m not a man of family values
But poor kids go get your education in the drive thru
Don’t drink the water, or see the doctor - you can’t afford to
If you’re not rich, white, cis, and straight, then I don’t serve you
Silence the scientists; I’m sick of their sad opinions
Who needs clean air or soil when you’ve got bigly billions
That Mother Earth’s like all those other nasty women
I try to repress; nevertheless, they are persisting
Words & music by Emily Elbert / Guitar, vocals - Emily Elbert / Bass, vocals - Solomon Dorsey / Drums - Abe Rounds
Engineered and mixed by Mitchell Haeuszer at Haus Music / Album art by Hayes Design Studios