Cause Song Spotlight

Hardcore Beatles fans are familiar with the many bootleg versions of “Get Back,” and its lyrical evolution, originally addressing the anti-immigration stance of British MP Enoch Powell, as well as similar views in America. In the highly touted new documentary, Get Back, we see Paul McCartney improvising many of these lyrics — including “we don’t need Pakistanis” and “don’t need no Puerto Ricans living in the USA.” Director Peter Jackson flashes the screen with newspaper headlines of the day, and makes it clear "Get Back" was conceived as a protest song, denouncing white nationalism.  Buy the single from the album, Let It Be, here. — Karen Bliss

The title track from rock band Moist’s forthcoming album, End of the Ocean, due Oct. 1, tackles human consumption and its devastating results on the planet. The video uses footage from Mateo Guez’ 2009 film Off World, shot at Manila’s “Smokey Mountain” landfill once home to 30,000 people (it was removed in 2009). In the press release for the new single, frontman David Usher warns of people’s desire to make money “at the expense of the planet,” including the latest non-fungible token trend. “Can we just slow down on the love affair with the NFT’s, at least until we can make them climate-neutral?” Buy the song hereKaren Bliss

Patti Smith and her late husband Fred “Sonic” Smith’s 80s single from her album Dream of Life (and found on Land 1975 - 2002) has been used as an anthem and motivator in so many social justice issues and little guy proclamations. “And the people have the power to redeem the work of fools,” she sings. Smith has said they wrote the song to inspire others, reflecting back on their youth in the 60s, a time of signifant protest.    “We were trying to write a song that would reintroduce that kind of energy,” she told NME, adding that Fred “wanted it to be a song that people sang all over the world to inspire them for different causes. And he didn't live to see that happen, but I have.” Buy it hereKaren Bliss

Legendary Canadian singer-songwriter Murray McLauchlan addresses white privilege in his tell-it-straight folk single “I Live On A White Cloud." After George Floyd's murder and the global outrage against systemic racism, he was prompted to look hard at himself and his own advantages as a white man.  “I thought, ‘If I watch all this go down, and shake my head but say nothing, I’m just as guilty as anybody else,’” he explains in a press release. “I recognized my life has been easier — even in its difficulty from time to time — because of what I am.”   Watch the video hereKaren Bliss

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Philadelphia-based rapper Meek Mill's frank new single "Otherside Of America" bluntly confronts the anti-Black racism that so greatly impacts the United States and much of the Western world. The song begins with a sample from an infamous Donald Trump 2016 presidential campaign speech in which he targeted African-Americans, before Mill begins to rap about his violent, often difficult upbringing. The song ends with a quote from a 2018 interview with Mill on CNN where he said, "I grew up in America in a ruthless neighborhood where we are not protected by police...we grew up around murder...I think you would probably carry a gun yourself. Would you?"  Buy it here. — Aaron Brophy.

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One of the most basic tools in combating the current coronavirus pandemic is the simple act of frequent, thorough hand washing. To help support this potentially life-saving habit, the children's entertainers at Sesame Street have just released "Washy Wash Song | How To Wash Your Hands," a short video jingle designed to encourage effective hand washing. In the animated clip Sesame Street star Elmo shows off some best hand washing practices while listeners are encouraged to sing along to lines like "move your hands and fingers in the places in-between, using soap and water makes your hands so clean." The song, which was released on YouTube on March 30, received almost 60,000 views in its first hours online. — Aaron Brophy

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West Palm Beach, Florida indie rock band Surfer Blood's new song "Parkland (Into The Silence)" reflects on the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida which resulted in 17 deaths, and is being used to bring attenton to gun control organizations March For Our Lives Everytown For Gun Safety. Surfer Blood's John Paul Pitts says the song is a testament to the students' couage. "Even though we haven't seen any meaningful legislation, these students were able to move the conversation into new territory." Buy it here. — Aaron Brophy.

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"When You Think No One Loves You," the new single from Scottish-Canadian singer-songwriter David Leask, is about confronting what he calls "an epidemic of loneliness," insisting in the final lyric, ""I'm just telling you, somebody does." The video follows the small sad moments of three unconnected people, an elderly widower, a single mom, and a bullied teen.  Says Leask, "My hope is that the video can raise awareness for and give comfort to as many people as possible who are feeling lonely and unloved in this world, whatever the reason may be.” Buy it here. — Aaron Brophy.

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Céline Dion may be best known these days as a Vegas residency legend and walking meme for living one's best life, but the "My Heart Will Go On" singer doesn't always sing about love. The singer's 2007 work "Skies of L.A." planted a flag for environmentalism by tackling air pollution. The song from Dion's album Taking Chances was written by the Tricky Stewart and The Dream and features a protagonist looking at Los Angeles' fog-filled skies and lamenting, "I don't know if tomorrow has a day / I don't know if the rays will shine my way again." Buy it here. — Aaron Brophy

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When a close friend was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year Calgary-based balladeer wanted to show her support with a song. The result is "Running" from Kai's same-named, just released four-song EP. Kai's friend is an elite runner who started competing for 101 kilometre ultra-marathon less than a month after having double mastectomy and "Running" is meant to soundtrack this race. "I will sending her off with this song at the starting line and waiting for her at the end," says Kai. Buy it here. — Aaron Brophy

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