The Temptations 1970 hit “Ball of Confusion” as fits 2017.
by Walter Price
“Ball of Confusion”, the surprise hit protest song from The Temptations in 1970 seems to be as poignant today as it had been at its birth. The psychedelic-soul track written by Motown producer Norman Whitfield (w/ Barrett Strong), conjures up turbulent times of the Nixon administration, Vietnam war, the growing drug epidemic, and racism of the 60’s. But a sizeable portion of the lyrics certainly tells the tale of today.
Vote for me and I’ll set you free
Rap on, brother, rap on.
Well, the only person talkin’ ’bout love thy brother is the preacher
And it seems nobody’s interested in learning but the teacher
Segregation, determination, demonstration, integration, aggravation,
humiliation, obligation to our nation
Ball Of Confusion that’s what the world is today (yeah, yeah)
The sale of pills is at an all time high
young folks walkin’ ’round with their heads in the sky
Cities aflame in the summer time, and oh the beat goes on
Eve of destruction, tax deduction
In the past few decades with change, there has been a certain amount of fear, confusion, intolerance, and pick a plight. Yet Songs, poetry, art, and commentary have soothed, provoked, and at times helped forge change in societies. I can’t say for sure if “Ball of Confusion” can change anything in The US’s current White House, but wouldn’t it be something if it could.
I’ll let the song speak for itself as we go 3 Reasons Why “Ball of Confusion” in 2017 via three spectacular versions (+ one).
The Temptations 1970
Tina Turner 1984
Love and Rockets 1985
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