This week’s Jam of the Week is Michael Franti’s gem “Gloria” featuring Cherine Anderson. The track comes from his 2010 Sound of Sunshine album.
On first listen, I wasn’t crazy about this song. It sounded too churchy for the cynic in me. I had the album, but I didn’t listen to it all of the way through for a few years, letting this one fall through the cracks.
Then, a couple summers ago, it came on my iPod during my morning drive to work. I heard:
When many little people in many little places
Do many little things, then the whole world changes
But sometimes not fast enough for me
You see I’m just a little man, trying hard to understand
What kind of living is a life if I can’t stand on my own two feet
I was drawn in by the despair. I didn’t even recognize it as something I’d heard before. When the Gloria chorus played, I was struck by the juxtaposition. This speaker was both feeling emotional pain and feeling grateful to be alive. This added much more depth to the song. Now, I listen to it with some regularity. It picks me up when I’m down, and it brings me joy and gratitude when I’m already up.