Music and Me

By: Cissy Zhang

Theme: Violence and War

"What's Going On" - By: Marvin Gaye (1971)

“Don’t punish me with brutality, talk to me, so you can see, oh, what’s going on”


“Oh, you know we've got to find a way, to bring some understanding here today”


“Mother, mother, everybody thinks we're wrong, oh, but who are they to judge us, simply 'cause our hair is long”

Marvin Gaye -Whats Going On Lyrics

Historical Context

  • Mass racial violence
  • Gang violence prevalent
  • Death of duet partner
  • Brother's return from Vietnam War
  • Blocked in quest to address social issues in music
  • Obie Benson's visit to San Francisco

"One Day" - By: Matisyahu (2009) (38 Years Later)

“When they feed on the souls of the innocent, blood-drenched pavement”


“One day we'll all be free, and proud to be, under the same sun”


“Then I pray, don't take me soon, 'cause I am here for a reason”

One Day- Matisyahu lyrics

Historical Context

  • Multiple shootings
  • Many terrorist movements
  • Wars and violence
  • Personal struggles and spiritual questions, challenges in life

Message of the Songs

The message of these 2 songs...


  • Violence and war are never the answer
  • They don't result in anything beneficial
  • Understanding and acceptance are key to ending violence
  • We are all connected and must work together to take action