Alabama Shakes Vocalist Voices Injustice

Nik Hasenfus

 

 

The existence of African American voices speaking out to the world has increasingly become a topic of interest in recent times. Since Barack Obama became our first black president as a country, this changing perspective of African Americans  has lead other individuals to speak out politically to an audience  that they have not quite been able to reach before. Since it is Black History Month, the arts section would like to mention one such songwriter to check out names Brittany Howard, who is described by Rolling Stones magazine as the “powerhouse 24-year-old frontwoman for (the band) Alabama Shakes. Her stage presence is as massive as her vowels and could probably cause quakes back in her home town of Athens, Alabama where this “A list Southern soul-rock franchise.” “Don’t wanna fight,” one of their top tracks on the new album Sound and Color (2015), bring s the exact political voice I have in mind from such a fierce and unlikely messenger.  

 

Verse:

My lines, your lines

Don’t cross them lines

What you like, what I like

Why can’t we both be right?

 

Attacking, defending

Until there’s nothing left worth winning

Your pride and my pride

Don’t waste my time

 

Chorus:

I don’t wanna fight no more [x6]

 

Verse:

Take from my hand

Put in your hands

The fruit of all my grief

Lying down ain’t easy when

Everyone is pleasing

I can’t get no relief

 

Living ain’t no fun

The constant dedication

Keeping the water and power on

There ain’t no money left

Why can’t I catch my breath?

I’m gonna work myself to death

 

Chorus

I don’t wanna fight no more [x6]

No, no, no, no!

I don’t wanna fight no more [x7]

I don’t wanna fight, I don’t wanna fight!

I don’t wanna fight no more [x8]

This song is very straightforward, given that the content deals with conflict and the perspective is being written in a first person narrative. The strongest reason this song is, and will remain, successful is its connection to the military industrial complex. As long as war is a continuous reality, whether or not it is in order to hold up economic stability, it will cause these lyrics to remain hauntingly relevant. “I mean, we never expected the Grammys, we never expected to do world tours. All we did was go into the studio, because we wanted to be like a real band and have an album, and then it turned into all this (Rolling Stone).”

 

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