Friday, November 14, 2008

American Prayer - Dave Stewart (Barack Obama Music Video)

Here's a link to a powerful and moving 5-min video, American Prayer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVi4rUzf-0Q.  As with most videos (and given my horrible habit of multitasking furiously), I had it playing in the background, but as it progressed, I started watching it and started to get very emotional.  The video of MLK, the night before he was assassinated, starting at 3:51 is esp powerful -- he says "I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land!".  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
 
Here are excerpts from the comments of Dave Stewart, who wrote the song with Bono:
When we were originally writing the song, Bono was crafting the words in a way that would make people think about the fact that 'America' as a concept was a truly great idea, based on the bedrock of equality. I find it more pertinent than ever to release it now; to the moment America finds itself in, daring to re-imagine itself and its place in the world.

When I set out to make a video for the new version of this song, I wanted to honor all of those millions of people, especially young people, who are, for the first time, feeling empowered to voice their beliefs. I wanted to capture how Obama's message of change has echoed across the broad fabric of what is America. To do that, we've cast the film with an eclectic array of personalities, including Forest Whitaker, Jason Alexander, Whoopi Goldberg, Cyndi Lauper, Barry Manilow, Joan Baez, Macy Gray and Joss Stone. They appear alongside veterans, teachers and everyday citizens— all of whom have been touched by this simple idea of change.
Here are the rest of Stewart's comments and the words to the song:
AMERICAN PRAYER SONG on iTunes: http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZ...

RINGTONE
http://www.myxer.com/CHANGE or text "CHANGE" to 69937 to get your "American Prayer" ringtone

FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT SONG
http://www.myamericanprayer.com

Earlier this year when I was recording American Prayer, a song I originally co-wrote with Bono, the phrase, "When you get to the top of the mountain, remember me" seemed to take on a whole new resonance, given the inspirational candidacy of Barack Obama. The song always contained one of my favorite passages from Dr. King, which was hauntingly delivered the night before he was assassinated. King says: "I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land!" People long for a connection— whether it is to music, to their country, or to a big idea. Regardless of what happens in November, Senator Obama has reminded millions of people that they have the power to connect to bigger ideas. He is, in essence, the embodiment of a new anthem for change. He has continued King's narrative from what was once thought of as a dream to a reality. I find it especially relevant that Barack Obama will accept the Democratic Party Nomination for President 45 years to the day of King's "I Have a Dream" speech.
When we were originally writing the song, Bono was crafting the words in a way that would make people think about the fact that 'America' as a concept was a truly great idea, based on the bedrock of equality. I find it more pertinent than ever to release it now; to the moment America finds itself in, daring to re-imagine itself and its place in the world.
When I set out to make a video for the new version of this song, I wanted to honor all of those millions of people, especially young people, who are, for the first time, feeling empowered to voice their beliefs. I wanted to capture how Obama's message of change has echoed across the broad fabric of what is America. To do that, we've cast the film with an eclectic array of personalities, including Forest Whitaker, Jason Alexander, Whoopi Goldberg, Cyndi Lauper, Barry Manilow, Joan Baez, Macy Gray and Joss Stone. They appear alongside veterans, teachers and everyday citizens— all of whom have been touched by this simple idea of change. As an Englishman, I'm not an expert in all the intricate details of American politics. But as an artist, I understand how rare it is to inspire a connection to a bigger idea or purpose. This video isn't so much an endorsement of Barack Obama as much as it is a celebration of all those who have picked up a sign, who have registered to vote and are working to make the world a better place. So as Senator Barack Obama ascends to the mountain top, let us not forget all of the others who for the past 40 years have sung anthems of change to make this moment possible.

LYRICS

This is my American Prayer
This is my American Prayer

This is the time to finish what you started
And this is no time to dream
This is the room
We can turn off the dark tonight
Maybe then we might see

American Prayer
American Prayer

And this is the ground
That keeps our feet from getting wet
And this is the sky over our head
And what you see depends on where you stand
And how you jump will tell you where you're gonna land

American Prayer
American Prayer

My oh my
Couldn't get much higher
Lets not kick out the darkness
Make the light brighter

And these are the hands
What are we gonna build with them?
This is the church you can't see
Give me your tired, your poor and huddled masses
You know they're yearning to breathe free
This is my American Prayer
American Prayer
American Prayer

When you get to the top of the mountain
Will you tell me what you see
If you get to the top of the mountain
Remember me

LIST OF GUESTS IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE:
Dave Stewart
Forest Whitaker
Amy Keys
Macy Gray
Jason Alexander
Colbie Caillat
Whoopi Goldberg
Joss Stone
Buju Banton
Ann Marie Calhoun
Barry Manilow
Linda Perry
Cyndi Lauper
Sergio Mendes
Herbie Hancock
Mike Bradford
Margaret Cho
Cindy Gomez
Speech
Joan Baez
Daedelus
Pamela Anderson
Peter & Gordon
Sierra Swan
Nadirah X
Perez Hilton
 

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