Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Today we remember the life of a man whose social and political influence in the United States are immeasurable. As a leader of the Civil Rights Movement, he became the voice of equality, the voice of change, and the voice of peace. As a man of great inspiration, many songs over the years have been dedicated or heavily inspired by King. Here are a few of our favorites in celebration of his legacy.
Stevie Wonder – Happy Birthday
Stevie Wonder wrote “Happy Birthday” as part of a campaign to get Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday recognized as a national holiday. In 1986 Reagan officially brought into law that the third Monday of January would be celebrated in honor of King’s memory.
Queen – One Vision
In this song Freddie Queen sings for hope and unity against those who would oppose it.
U2 – Pride (In the Name of Love)
“Early morning, April 4/Shot rings out in the Memphis sky/Free at last, they took your life/They could not take your pride.”
Bruce Springsteen – We Shall Overcome
A powerful song commonly sang during protests and social movements, but it gets its inspiration from the Civil Rights Movement; bearing the name of King’s mantra.
Common Ft. Will.i.am – I Have a Dream
Common created this song by actually sampling King’s “I Have a Dream Speech” while overlaying verses about struggle, but also hope; while Will sings a variation of King’s message in the chorus.
While many might look at this today as merely an extra day off work, we should try and remember the reason we observe it, as well as the people who fought to dedicate this day to a man who gave everything for social change and equality in our country. Today we remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.