Jam of the Week

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.



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