Emergency On Planet Earth
1993 | R&B
Spotify | Amazon
"So many people, all around the world, yeah. -- All around the world, seen their brothers fry. -- What's the motive, in that madness. -- Oh, I wish I knew, you made my people cry. -- So politicians, this time, I think you'd better keep your distance. -- Say, sing it loud, we're too young to die."
- Emergency On Planet Earth made it to the 1001 Albums You Must Listen To Before You Die.
- I'm gonna state here as fact that Stuart Zender is the greatest bass player of all time. Come at me bro.
- The single released carries 4 versions of the song. 3/6/10 minute versions and an instrumental version.
THE HOT TAKES
"What a powerful (though stylistically dated) video. It's immediately clear that this is an anti-war song, and like many, it focuses on the human costs. The video highlights this by showing portraits of individuals with bullet holes in them. These people are never coming back. The visual metaphor is excellent; the damage of war is irreversible. It's impossible to tell what the effects of the deaths of even one, single war are--let alone the butchery of all the wars states have engaged in taken in total. This song earns bonus points, too, because it calls out politicians in general. It's not an anti-Clinton, anti-Bush, anti-Obama, or anti-Trump song. It's an anti-political song. The proof is in the pudding: "So many people. All around the world, yeah. All around the world. Seen their brothers fry. (I seen your brother fry.) What's the motive? In that madness. Oh, I wish I knew, you made my people cry. (You made my people cry.) So politicians. This time. I think you'd better keep your distance."
Jamiroquai is a master of the funky groove and this song is no exception. One of my favorite subjects to talk to people about is war. So many folks have just accepted this terrible, inhumane, and destructive perpetual war state as just a fact of life. People have become anesthetized to the violence, and are willing to just go along with one more war as long as a politician tells them it’s for safety. Honestly, most people in the USA care to look no deeper into the matter. After all, they have the American Dream to live. What’s one more dead brown person, right? Other people’s dead children is just a small price, and they’re more than willing to pay it. I used to be of the same attitude as Jamiroquai mentions. I believed that people really didn’t want wars. I presumed they only backed them because they thought they were in real danger. While I do know there is a fear component to it, I have also seen the calloused hearts that people have developed in order to keep America as the perpetual hero in every conflict it chooses to get involved with. Saying things like, “ “we” ( and it’s always we, never I, because murder is only ok if you have a majority and State authority) “we should just make the middle east a parking lot,” “or well, I don’t like war, but at least it’s good for the economy.” These statements are not only terrible and ignorant, they point out how calloused and inhumane people become when they look to A State to give them moral and ethical direction. Friedrich Nietzsche said, “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster... for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.” Get out your mirrors America and see you have become the terrorist monsters that you so greatly fear.
Just give me reasons to go on a deep dive about one of my favorite bands on earth. There are a couple different layers to the meaning in this song. There is an obvious antiwar nature to both the lyric and the video. The video is shot in what is supposed to represent a government installation. It asks the question that no one ever seems to ask. "Why?" Why are we entangled in the affairs of all the other nations we are? If we're going strictly off of track record, ours as a nation is simply a string of us trying to do good and making things worse at best and actively trying to destroy at worst. Nation after nation falls victim to our own hubris as a nation. It should also be noted that song carries allusions to how America has treated the native populations here in the states. I'm not here to take responsibility for shit that was perpetrated by a nation that none of my ancestors saw til the 1920's, but from a legal standpoint there are few things as ridiculous as the ways in which our state has broken contract after contract with Natives since our states founding. People both here and abroad are victimized over and over y our state apparatus. Thanks Jay Kay for being a silly hippie, I'm sure you're probably a silly commie but at least you're good on war. I'm including the original album cut here too. I hate when half the song is gone.