“Where words fail, music speaks”
– Hans Christian Anderson
Music is said to be the medicine for soul. It has the ability to change lives with its chords and lyrics. For those who write and compose music, it is like a heavenly experience to be able to create something so special with their mind; and for those who listen to it – it is nothing less of a privilege to be able to witness that.
Music and the magic it spreads have healed thousands of lives across the world, breaking barriers of political, social and language boundaries. Music, like love, has no language, they say.
The LGBT community, from the disco culture of the 70’s to online streaming of the 17’s, have had their own share of musical significance. Sometimes the lyrics were straight and direct, sometimes they were hidden behind innuendos.
But at the end, it was music. Here are 5 songs that have been created keeping the LGBT people and their lives in mind.
- SAME LOVE – MACKLEMORE AND RYAN LEWIS
A song by American hip hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Same Love is contemporary to the campaign for Washington Referendum 74, which, upon approval in 2012, legalized same-sex marriage in Washington State. Released as the third single from the duo’s 2012 debut studio album, The Heist, the track features vocals by Seattle-based singer Mary Lambert in between the raps. It talks about the nuances of being a gay/lesbian in this society and constantly fighting all the stereotypes.
The song was nominated at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards for ‘Song of the Year’ and won the ‘Best Video with a Message’ at the MTV Music Video Awards.
The cover for the single album has a picture of Macklemore’s uncle, John Haggerty, and his husband, Sean. The song was featured in YouTube’s Pride Week.
Video Link: Same Love
- Y.M.C.A – VILLAGE PEOPLE
Although at the surface level, the song Y.M.C.A by the Village People is a praise of the Young Men’s Christian Association, its lyrics were implicitly understood as the organisation’s reputation as a popular gay hook-up spot. It was released in 1978 as the only single from the American disco group’s third studio album Cruisin’ (1978).
The song reached Number 2 on the US charts and number 1 in UK in early 1979, becoming the group’s biggest hit. It is one of fewer than 40 singles to have sold 10 million (or more) physical copies worldwide.
The song remains particularly popular due to its status as a disco classic, and a public favourite at various sporting events, parties, functions, weddings and so on.
Video Link: Y.M.C.A
- THE ORIGIN OF LOVE- JOHN CAMERON MITCHELL
The Origin of Love is song from the soundtrack of Hedwig and the Angry Inch – a 2001 American musical comedy-drama film written, adapted, and directed by John Cameron Mitchell. He also reprised his performance in the lead role from the original stage musical show. The piece is about a fictional rock and roll band led by a gender-queer East German vocalist, Hedwig Robinson, who survives a botched sex change operation.
The song beautifully explores the difference yet equality between the various genders and the fact that they are very much a natural phenomenon and part of the bigger world.
Video Link: The Origin of Love
- I’M COMING OUT – DIANNA ROSS
I’m Coming Out is a song made popular by American singer Diana Ross. It was written, composed and produced by Chic members Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, after noticing three different drag queens dressed as Diana Ross at a New York club called the GG Barnum and realising that it would be a good idea for Ross’s LGBT fan-base. Released on August 22, 1980, it is the second single from her self-titled tenth studio album Diana (1980).
The song has been regarded as an LGBT anthem for it lyrics. The phrase “coming out” has been used for a long time to describe a queer person’s self-disclosure of his or her queerness to the society; or in short coming out from hiding. The song is thus interpreted as a celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer identity and the encouragement of self-disclosure.
Video Link: I’m Coming Out
- TAKE ME OR LEAVE ME NOW – BRIA AND CHRISSY
This is a song published on the Facebook channel BrianAndChrissy on the National Coming out Day – October 11th, 2013. This is a channel run by Bria Michelle Kam and Chrissy Emily Chambers, a real-life lesbian couple, where they perform original songs, comedy skits, sketches and promote awareness for LGBT rights. Also known as the “Lesbian Duo,” their videos and songs focus on a variety of social issues including same-sex marriage advocacy and anti-bullying.
They wrote and created out the song for those youths who have or are thinking of coming out of the closet, and they called it their National Coming Out Song.
Video Link: Take me or leave me now