Music has many functions and purposes as it can entertain, comfort, raise important social topics, and highlight events. Music also can inspire and unite, as multiple examples demonstrate. “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” by Johnson is an example of unifying and inspirational sons, since it brings Black Americans together, speaking of their unfair past, struggle, and the possibilities of the future.
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The song “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” is an anthem that unites black people due to its soulful lyrics. The first verse sounds like an appeal and jubilation at the same time because the author talks about the feelings of African Americans who are proud of their origins. The lyrics call people to sing about Black Americans’ past and present, fill them with pride, and fight to win (Johnson). The second verse covers the dark history of black people’s struggle for freedom from slavery, filled with suffering and death. For example, the line “We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,” refers to the Civil War (Johnson line 18). In the last verse, there is hope and prayer for the fortitude to continue the Black People’s struggle. All these ideas, combined with a soulful melody, unite Black people and makes them proud of their origins.
War songs of almost any state are another example of unifying music. They are created to maintain soldiers’ morale under challenging conditions of war or call people to fight. An example of a war song is “To Arms in Dixie” by Albert Pike, which is a war version of the song “Dixie’s Land”. This song encourages the Southern States people to join the struggle and be brave to defend their lands and principles (Albert Pike – Topic). Thus, both song examples demonstrate how music can bring people together for a common purpose.
In conclusion, songs have a significant influence on society, which can bring people of the same group together if the lyrics are about meaningful topics. “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” is an anthem for African Americans as it speaks of the past and calls for resilience to struggle for their rights. Another example is war songs that inspire people to fight for their principles and their lands, uniting them with one goal. Consequently, music is one of the most powerful forces that can inspire groups and nations to do things.
Johnson, James Weldon. ” Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing”. Poetry Foundation, Web.
“To Arms in Dixie.” YouTube, uploaded by Albert Pike – Topic, 2014, Web.