Music and Political Inspiration: Herrick

For some reason, Banana Pancakes is what I envision a brighter future looking like. Jack Johnson is an artist who crosses over all boundaries and brings people together over a simple, shared emotion of just slowing down and letting life come to you. I think, especially in this day and age there are so many artists who are engrossed in themselves and all of the struggles that they have gone through to become who they are, that it is refreshing to have an artist who is singing about something as simple as banana pancakes on a weekend morning.

The song really doesn’t have any complex lyrics or beats, just a man singing to a guitar with faint drum patting undertones. But the simple style fits the message of the song perfectly. The message is really that the outside world isn’t always going to be great, sometimes it is going to rain, but all you really need is what you have right at home, your loved ones and time with them. I think that it is also important to recognize how much space is left in the song. There are pauses in the music and a majority of the song is relaxed singing that is really just flowing. I think this translates to not forcing things in life to happen, but just to allow what is going to happen to happen, letting life come to you and perusing what opportunities you have are often far more rewarding than those which are forced or reached for. Also, I noticed that this song is really better when you listen to it softly. For some reason, this song on a louder volume forfeits some of the taste of the music and the integrity of the tune is questioned. Life is loud, but it doesn’t have to be. You can choose to determine what you can control and what you can’t, and if you just focus on your domain of control you’ll have far more clarity and mental peace.

This idea that he has everything he needs, and that’s enough, is directly going against the grain of the modern social message that consumption leads to happiness. I think that Jack realizes that there really isn’t going to be a point where consumption and more things are going to make anyone very happy and it’s really not an ideal to live for.

The song makes me feel like there are more important things in life than getting up to run out the door in the morning and to really slow down and enjoy life for the gift that it is. I think that is really something I need to do more of as a person living in a fast-paced world where there are constant distractions and things that need to be done right now. In the song, Jack gets a call in the morning and his response is ‘no worries it’s too early to be bothered by that, let it ring’.

This song was made in 2005 and it’s part of the album In Between Dreams. Jack Johnson is a widely known artist, famous for being a relaxed Hawaii surfer who sings songs that bring the pace of the world into question. He allows the listener to slow things down and appreciate the quieter moments.

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