Song-A-Day: January 15

Martin Luther King Jr. Day doesn’t happen until January 20 in 2014, but the reason for that is because MLK day actually happens on the third Monday of January rather than Dr. King’s actual birthday which was today, January 15. I don’t need to tell you the story of Dr. King or why he deserves the immense amount of praise which he receives, so rather the challenge was to choose which song to pick for today which references this great man in some sense. I’m going to go a bit of an odder route and pick a track by Ben Harper which came out in 1994 entitled “Like a King”, a song that references Martin Luther King Jr.’s message juxtaposed to the filmed beating of Rodney King in 1991 by police officers who were later acquitted of all charges. 28 years after Dr. King’s speech this song tried to make the point that not much progress had been made, but from an artistic standpoint it’s importance is in reminding us that our progression towards equality is something that we can never forget, and that Dr. King’s message can’t leave our minds especially in times of weakness.

Well Martin’s dream
Has become Rodney’s worst
Nightmare
Can’t walk the streets
To them we are fair game
Our lives don’t mean a thing
Like a king, like a king, like a king
Rodney King, Rodney King, Rodney King
Like a king, like a king, like a king
How I wish you could help us Dr. King
Make sure it’s filmed
Shown on national T.V.
They’ll have no mercy
A legal lynch mob
Like the days strung up from the tree
The L.A.P.D.
Like a king, like a king, like a king
Rodney King, Rodney King, Rodney King
Like a king, like a king, like a king
How I wish you could help us Dr. King
So if you catch yourself
Thinking it has changed for the best
You better second guess
Cause Martin’s dream
Has become Rodney’s worst
Nightmare
Like a king, like a king, like a king
Rodney King, Rodney King, Rodney King
Like a king, like a king, like a king
How I wish you could help us Dr. King

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