Early morning, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis Sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride [from U2’s “Pride (In The Name Of Love)”]
Today we pause to remember a man by the name of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his impact on not only United States history, but on human rights for all. The U.S. federal holiday honoring King did not come easy, and plenty of people did not (and still do not) support it.
The life and death of this social rights activist has had a dramatic impact on countless people, and one of the best ways of truly understanding that impact is through music. Contained herein are a few songs with direct impact from the life of King, especially the following song from Stevie Wonder, titled “Happy Birthday,” which made significant cultural and political impact on MLK’s birthday being nationally recognized to start with. “Happy Birthday” was released in 1980 on the album Hotter Than July.
Ben Harper, “Like A King.”
Patty Griffin, “Up to the Mountain.”
At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love. – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.