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Morning Song – Espera

September 6, 2016

(One in a series of posts inspired by President Obama’s 2016 Spotify Summer Playlist.)

Esperanza Spalding’s been at the White House almost as long as Barack Obama. Her first performance there was in February of 2009 (covering the First Couple’s favorite artist, Stevie Wonder).

The lyrics alone from Spalding’s “Espera” are enough to make it a favorite of the president’s. Released when he was still “just” a US senator, it reads like his own statement of political faith (starting with the title, which translates to “Hope”).

I’ll keep faith,
Like so many souls who won’t be drowned
By evil in the world;
I HAVE FAITH IN MANKIND,
That we can guide our choices towards a healthy world.

In time to ease our bind,
For only hard work through time,
Can change men’s minds, I know.
If we make some small changes now,
We’ll heal ourselves, some way, some how.

I WON’T GIVE UP;
I’M SURE ENOUGH,
AND I WON’T GIVE UP.

But it’s not just words. “Espera” has an inviting cool, funky, jazzy, Latin vibe and Spalding’s voice gracefully twines itself around the effervescent melody and the subtle, constantly shifting rhythm of her quartet.

In this little corner of the world, it’s the day after Labor Day, the unofficial start of fall, the official back-to-school time. What’s happening where you are?

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From → Music

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