We are the World and Black and White: Ideals that bring us together

In my post yesterday on Michael Jackson’s death, I mentioned two songs that have stuck with me because of the feelings I’ve had from living in other countries where I’ve developed friendships and have called various addresses home. In a way, I see “Black and White” and We are the World as fitting tributes to the ideals of what can bring us together.

In recent year’s we’ve had Matt Harding’s dancing videos to bring us a sense of the best of humanity through the simple joy of a crazy dance. Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds has a similar feel. Then there’s the Playing for a Change project that has produced wonderful renditions of “Stand By Me” and “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” among others.

For me, Michael Jackson’s Black and White is a wonderful expression of individuality blending into community, and back to individuality in a pattern where we are each other, but remain unique.

“We are the World,” co-written by Jackson with Lionel Ritchie, as commercial as a venture as it was, did raise loads of money for Africa. And as sappy as it might be, still has powerful moments. If nothing else, seeing all those musical powerhouses singing together in harmony instead of taking center stage speaks volumes to the power of sticking together.

I’m wondering who will be creating the visions of togetherness in the future? Who will stick it out long enough to see their visions come to life? On his best days, Michael Jackson knew the way. Click here to see “Black and White.”

“Don’t Worry”: Playing for Change–music around the world

Here’s another song from Playing for Change, the project that joins various musicians from around the world. The musicians are filmed singing the same song, but each sing in the country where they live. The parts are then combined into a whole with the footage of the musicians woven together. The intention of the project, as we’ve posted before, is to inspire people to make the world a better place by building music schools around the world with an aim for peace-building.

Of the three songs I’ve seen of this project, “Stand by Me,” “One Love,” and this one, “Don’t Worry,” I like this one the best, although they’re all excellent. The CD/DVD of the project will be released in April. Enjoy.