November 5, 2011 by Tommy Link
I often wonder what extent a song about a social observation has to go to be considered a political or protest song. In the rare cases in which my songs have any social commentary, it usually has very little to do with any agenda or direction I have. Most of the time it’s just that: an observation. Does that make it a political statement? There’s a difference between saying “Hey, did you ever notice this? It’s kind of strange”, and saying “This is the way things are and we should change them!”. I feel like I’m usually the under the first category, but I wonder if it still counts as being political.
Reason being for bringing this up would be a recently completed song. My observation deals with money. I had this image in regarding it as a universal element in our lives. Isn’t it funny how everyone, by means legal or otherwise, through just about every walk and way of life, has different means and methods of working for the same thing? I mean, yes, I realize thousands of people all have the same jobs throughout the world, but turn that thought process around the other way for a second. There are SO many things people do to make money. Even beyond traditional terms of employment. Its bizarre to think that I can go and entertain for a few hours in a evening while someone else goes and deals with someone’s mortgage payments, and we’re both leaving with the same thing! Just, probably very significantly different amounts of it.
This isn’t a song about improper distribution of wealth, by the way, Occupy people out there. It’s just an observation about something that I find strange when you stop and think about it. It’s called “Funny Business”. My stance on the Occupy movement is actually being worked on in another song at the time being. I originally didn’t have any intention of writing anything to do with Occupy, but as it’s expanded over the weeks, I feel like I better throw in my two cents before someone else assumes them for me.
Goodness, maybe I am becoming political. I blame people in general.