Memory lane. 1975. ‘Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes’ featuring Teddy Pendergrass were on top of the soul music charts with several songs, including ‘Wake Up Everybody’. That song was, and to this day, is one of my favorites. It’s about how bad the times were back in the 1970’s and specified loads of problems going on back in-the-day like: cheating businessman, poverty, false preachers, dope users and sellers, war and more.
The song explains the specific problems of the day with the awesome musical arrangement of geniuses, Macfadden and Whitehead. A fantastic melody led by lead singer and then superstar, Teddy Pendergrass makes the song captivating and timeless.
‘Wake Up Everybody’ takes people on a journey that only music can take us on. It explains many of the gut wrenching problems of 40 years ago. And here’s the rub, folks. Every one of the problems addressed, every one, are still here today. They haven’t changed a bit.
Many people have supposedly tried to make things better throughout the years, mostly unsuccessfully. Millions of dollars have been thrown at some of the problems, mostly to no avail. However, violent crime had a substantial drop for decades and of course that’s a good thing but violent crime has been rising steadily for quite a while now and every other issue in the song from politics, to war, and more, are still here in 2016. Pretty much exactly like it was some 40 years ago!
How can problems be essentially the SAME and no better than 40-years ago? If you want a concrete answer, you’re reading the wrong article because I simply don’t have it. Young people were protesting back in the time of ‘Wake Up’ and they were being adamant that things would change for the better, just like they have been doing so in 2016. Young people are rebellious and sometimes, to their credit, see the reality of how things really are, more so than older folks. Almost all young people get rebellious at one time or another, it’s a part of growing up, but sadly, it takes more than just whining and bitching and getting in the face of a problem and dreaming of paradise. It sounds cool and righteous, but it takes more.
Listen to the entire song that’s attached in this digital article. Not a minute or two of the song but all seven-plus minutes of it. And don’t just read the attached lyrics either because the actual song goes to many areas that the main lyrics do not cover, areas that will awe you. Same-old same-old, right smack dab in our laps, today!
So what can people do to make things better if they care, like millions do? Talk crap about conservative thinking? Liberal thinking? Have government run things? Let business run rampant? Attempt to give people everything instead of helping them get it themselves, including self-respect, dignity, work ethic and family? Someone much smarter than me once said that the sign of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting to get a different result. Listen to the 40 year-old song, ‘Wake Up Everybody’ and compare it to today. It’s obvious that we have been doing the insanity thing.
‘Wake Up’ also covers ways to change things for the better by getting PEOPLE to change and be different, and then, also, help others. But how can that be done successfully? It seems to me there are two ways to change people. By force or by mentoring and motivating. Force doesn’t last. Never has. People want to be free and be themselves, not be told what to do. It’s human nature. Positively mentoring or motivating, essentially helping people to be what they can be, works. But how does that work on a large scale? Perhaps, step by step, person by person . . . baby steps? Maybe.
Some people just get by and drink, party, relax and enjoy every day without worrying about the problems of the world chronicled in ‘Wake Up’. To them I say you may be right. That might be fine and maybe that’s a good way to live life. Life’s short and maybe it’s dog-eat-dog and we should just care about ourselves.
My recommendation is for people to do what they feel is best. That could be to party a lot and to not care much for others or the issues of the day and enjoy the hell out of themselves. Or on the other end of the spectrum, if you want to help people in need and help with the problems of the day go for it. But I must say, if you are one of those who want to make a difference, make sure you’re not doing the insane thing that has been going on for 40 years. Don’t waste your time that way and don’t muddy the water for people who are trying realistic ways to make positive changes. The true answers are in you. Slow down and listen to the issues, not your needs, and then, act wisely.
Song: Wake Up Everybody
Wake up everybody no more sleepin in bed
No more backward thinkin time for thinkin ahead
The world has changed so very much
From what it used to be so
There is so much hatred war an’ poverty
Wake up all the teachers time to teach a new way
Maybe then they’ll listen to whatcha have to say
Cause they’re the ones who’s coming up and the world is in their hands
When you teach the children teach em the very best you can.
The world won’t get no better if we just let it be
The world won’t get no better we gotta change it yeah, just you and me.
Wake up all the doctors make the ol’ people well
They’re the ones who suffer an’ who catch all the hell
But they don’t have so very long before the Judgement Day
So won’tcha make them happy before they pass away.
Wake up all the builders time to build a new land
I know we can do it if we all lend a hand
The only thing we have to do is put it in our mind
Surely things will work out they do it every time.
……….(Goes on and covers many other areas)
Steve's a three-time survivor of violence in his youth and was an award winning police officer.
For several years, Steve also did radio political and current event commentary and taught college Criminal Justice. He is the former host of the long running 'The Kovacs Perspective' Internet radio talk show.
Presently, Steve is the owner and Managing Director of one of the oldest martial art schools in Ohio, 'The Mayfield Academy of Self-Defense'.
Latest posts by Steve Kovacs (see all)
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- Meaning—Makes the Man and Woman–Makes the Difference - August 28, 2017
- Bars, Demonstrations, and Getting Thumped… - August 14, 2017