‘Attention’ — #Lyrics To A Pop Song

This is my attempt at one of those vaguely political songs that people like Katy Perry sing.

Attention
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

sip my tea
watching anarchy
are you with me?
our north star seems so far away
truth is obscured by events
my heart breaks watching fate slip by

grab my hand and let me say
with all sincerity

if you’re not angry
you’re not paying attention
if you’re not angry
you’re not paying attention
wake up

we’re living in darkness at noon
sleepwalkers all around me
agendas turning with the earth
the glow of their eyes shines bright
dark as night I’m afraid
how this all ends is anyone’s guess
the last thing I can do is dance

grab my hand and let me say
with all sincerity

if you’re not angry
you’re not paying attention
if you’re not angry
you’re not paying attention
wake up

[bridge]
don’t tell me to calm down
I’m not a clown
these tears are real
my rage comes from the heart
the only wall that exist
we’re going to tear down

I’m not a slave
have a mind of my own
people we tie our shoes
be prepared to beat the drum
keep the masters on the run

grab my hand and let me say
with all sincerity

if you’re not angry
you’re not paying attention
if you’re not angry
you’re not paying attention
wake up

The Dog That Didn’t Bark: Where Are All The Protest Songs?

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

It is interesting that in the shock and awe that the birth of Trumplandia has brought, one aspect of civil society that has not really responded much, if at all, is pop music.

While The New York Times and The Washington Post are having a newspaper war to see who can bring the Trump White House down, and the late night talk shows have joke after joke about the surreal nature of Trumplandia, the music business has been rather mum about all of this.

The closest we’ve got to what I suggest we need is “woke pop” as championed by Katy Perry. But where are our protest anthems to chant during massive protests? It is odd that for the most part pop music is rather aggressively apolitical. It’s all very puzzling.

Maybe I’m just being to impatient. Maybe there are marketing reasons for this. Much of the entertainment business is in shock over the triumphant of Trumplandia and so maybe the creative braintrust responsible for pop hits are taking a wait-and-see approach to all of this. I have heard of the occasional protest song being written here and there by some major names, but none of them have punctured my little media bubble.

So, what is likely going to happen is at some point in the near future, a well written and produced protest song will come out of left field and surprise us all. What it will take for this to happen eludes me. Music is a crucial aspect of American political life and it could be that the very forces that have drained all quality out of pop music are the very ones that are preventing us to go from “woke” pop to “protest pop.”

I mean, imagine the cultural consequence of Taylor Swift going rock and performing a cover of “Fortune Son” or something. Something of that magnitude would fundamentally change the music business and potentially force us into an era of good music not seen since the late 60s or early 70s.

But maybe I am being delusional. Maybe the Kraken of pop music jumping into the political fray is something happens only in extreme times when the youth of the nation feel as though they have a vested interest in politics. As you may recall, once the draft was ended by Nixon, much of the wind left the anti-Vietnam War protest movement.

Or maybe I’m being too cynical. Maybe it just is going to take some time. Maybe this time next year, we’ll be in a regular pop music Renaissance. But I am not expecting much. Surprise me, Ms. Perry. Excite me, Ms. Swift.