Earlier this year, acclaimed songwriter Sonya Kitchell released her latest album, We Come Apart. Since then, Kitchell has continued to perform all over the world as a soloist and with other groups including Tedeschi Trucks Band.
In the shocking aftermath of the U.S. Presidential Election, however, that led Kitchell back to formal recorded output in the form of the haunting new track, “Funeral.” The protest song examines the complicated swirl of emotions brought on by the ultimate rise of Donald Trump.
Sonya explained that “Funeral” was inspired by a “change of guard,” and discussed the process that led her to write the song. Read what she had to say below.
The night of the election felt like a bad dream. Like something very dark inside humanity was being revealed. The following morning as I boarded a ferry, the air heavy with grief, I couldn’t help but feel something had died — a hope of our future perhaps. Everyone wore black, silently facing forward. It was bone chilling in New York that day. The feeling of a death permeated the air as if we were all going to a funeral.
That night I went with others to a protest march in the city. It was important to me that I stand with the people saying, “Not My President.” I couldn’t disagree more with the politics of the President Elect. Immersed in the wave of shock running through the city, it was impossible not to feel the urgency. I finished the song over the week after taking in the change and feeling what it could mean for the future.
It is a song about not giving up hope for the upward movement of humanity as a whole. I believe we are stronger together then separate and in the words of Gloria Steinem, “I’m not going to disobey the law, but I’m not going to pretend he represents me.”
This is a protest song. –SK