politics

Stand by Me

A few minutes after watching Barack Obama—President Obama, that is—give his inaugural speech, I was back at my desk and sifting through e-mail. And in my inbox was a link to a song/clip from a new documentary called Playing for Change. Thanks, Joseph Baca, for sending this to me.

The piece is a culled together orchestration of "Stand by Me" by (mostly) busker musicians from street corners the world over. The apocalyptic undertones of Ben E. King's classic love song have depressed the hell out of me since I was a kid. If mountains should crumble to the sea, I just hope I'm not alive to see it.

But not today. In this moment, for me, the Playing for Change version is a perfect companion to Obama's address that asked the U.S.—and, concurrently, every person on the planet—to collectively seek out the thread of "our better history," and to use it pull us forward. Remember what is good in this world and be emboldened to carry it into the future, no matter what we may face. And I’ll stand by you.