One mark of leadership is the ability to draw out the best talents of others.
Abraham Lincoln inspired Walt Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain!” in honor of his fallen hero; a misguided Beethoven originally composed his “Eroica” symphony as a tribute to Napoleon, until the latter crowned himself Emperor and ticked Ludwig off. Even Dion’s “Abraham, Martin, and John” (actually written by Richard Holler), still packs a punch for those of us of a certain age. I saw Dylan do it once as a piano duet with a gospel singer.
So when I hear this ditty by pop genius Stevie Wonder, I have to wonder just how vast Barack Obama's capacity for poor leadership really will finally out to be.
If you haven’t placed the melody stirring beneath Stevie’s song, what you’re hearing is nothing but the C major scale ascending, and then descending, with the name of “The One” glopped on top like a slice of Velveeta on a meat patty. Stevie would have mastered this scale when he was 6, at his first piano lesson. Then he would have moved on and started re-writing it into a hundred inspired songs.
Which is what makes it hard to figure out how the guy who came up with “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours,” “Superstition,” and “As,” couldn’t create an Obama anthem that accounted for more than 2.5 seconds of his creative attention, and 0% of his talent?
Or maybe Obama's ability to inspire a return to the hope-filled youth that he's actually caused Stevie to regress?
Stevie told the crowd “I want you all to remember this melody and sing it as you go along throughout the day.”
In that, he succeeded. Ever since I first heard it on Laura Ingraham’s show, it's been stuck in my head, a common psychological affliction possibly due to being overtired.
Fortunately, from time to time the Barack song is driven out and replaced by a much better one, a more musical song with better lyrics, and that actually has something to say. Enjoy it here, if you dare.
I think you'll agree the FreeCreditReport guys could easily write Obama a better song.