My Sunday Song – “Ballad of Trayvon Martin” by Will Hoge

For My Sunday Song #268, we are going to discuss the controversial song “Ballad of Trayvon Martin” by Will Hoge off his protest E.P. from 2012 called ‘Modern American Protest Music. The song, along with the rest of the album, is brutal and forthright. Will Hoge lays out in all its ugliness and truth and exposes the underbelly of America.

The “Ballad of Trayvon Martin” is about the case where George Zimmerman shoots a young black gentlemen who seems to me minding his own business. Will tells the story in great detail about why George shoots Trayvon to how George seems to get off and not charged with murder. Will isn’t afraid to point out the racism inherent in the system and he takes aim at the Florida “Stand Your Own Ground” Law. He definitely doesn’t paint a pretty picture about George or even Police Chief Lee. I remember vividly when this happened and nothing seem to make sense from the news reports. I could never see what reason George had to be suspicious other than a young black man walking down the street. Oh my heavens, that must mean he is up to no good…at least in George’s eyes. If George would’ve only listened to the 911 Dispatcher and do nothing and the Police handle it, would it have turned out differently?

Now let us talk about the music. Will comes straight in to the verses within the first note of starting the song accompanied by an electric guitar. After the opening verse, the drum and another guitar join and by the chorus we get the full band in its all its glory. It is simple, yet effective as it should be as the lyrics are the main focus as this is a protest song don’t forget. I love the little guitar solos between the chorus and the next verse that happens a couple times. All-in-all, the song is so powerful and packs quite a punch. Will really painted a picture of the situation with his words and they flowed perfectly together. His story telling is on full display and a perfect example on why I think Will is one of the best songwriters in the business.

Give the song a listen and let me know what you think of the song. You can voice your opinion on the situation, but it is the song we are focusing on and not judging anything else. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a Happy Sunday!

Here is Will’s take on his song if you are interested in that as well…

“Ballad Of Trayvon Martin”

Trayvon Martin was a young black kid
Doin’ the same things that we all did
Outside walkin’ down the streets alone
Just talkin’ to a girl on the telephone

Mindin’ his business, not doin’ nothin’ wrong
But then George Zimmerman had to come along
Self-appointed wanna-be police man
With 9-1-1 call and a pistol in his hand

Oh, chariot swing low
Come to take another young angel home
Underneath that February moon
Another young brother gone way to soon

George told the cops “The kid’s on drugs”
But what he really wants to say is “Black kids are thugs”
The dispatcher says not to make no stand
But he’s gonna take matters into his own hands

Trayvon tells the girl that there’s some guy
That’s followin’ him ’round and he don’t know why
She says to hang up the phone and run
But the next thing you hear is the ringin’ of a gun

Neighbors call the cops ’cause they hear screams
Another black child that never gets out of his teens
Zimmerman claims that is was self-defense
So Police Chief Lee just ignored the evidence

Oh, chariot swing low
Come to take another young angel home
Underneath that February moon
Another young brother gone way to soon

So Zimmerman goes free and the country cries
‘Cause we’re still shackled by the hatred and the lies
Now we gotta stick together to see justice done
March out of the darkness to the risin’ sun

Oh, chariot swing low
Come to take another young angel home
Underneath that February moon
Another young brother gone way to soon

Oh, chariot swing low
Come to take another young angel home
Underneath that February moon
Another young brother gone way to soon

Written by Will Hoge

13 thoughts on “My Sunday Song – “Ballad of Trayvon Martin” by Will Hoge

  1. It’s a risky thing to take real news and make a song of it, as it might not age well, but when it you do it this well, it’s definitely all good. Deke and Geoff are right, I hear Trews and Petty too, mighty fine by me.

    Liked by 1 person

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