Good trouble (for John Lewis)

Good trouble (for John Lewis)

mike skliar's picture
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Liner Notes: 

This is a song written for the late John Lewis, a civil rights leader who just died yesterday at the age of 80. His life was inspiring and he was one of those exceptional people who really put his 'money where his mouth was', with a gentle but indomitable spirit.

This is just a quick recording, on the iPhone, using music memos (which adds drums)

guitar, vocal and harmonica all done at once in one take.

edit- oct 2- I edited out a few moments of the intro, added a fade-in, and made a little louder, all in prep for including on my bandcamp album I'm working on.


He said ‘don’t get lost in a sea of despair’
The struggle’s not a day a month or a year
Sometimes you need to make a little good trouble
To get folks to move outside of their bubble

Good trouble, is the kind
that benefits all humankind
good trouble, will redeem
the soul of a nation when we dare to dream

on the Edmund Pettis bridge in 1965
marching to keep freedom alive
beaten within an inch of his life
but non-violent resistance is a much sharper knife

Good trouble, is the kind
that benefits all humankind
good trouble, will redeem
the soul of a nation when we dare to dream

the Edmund Pettis bridge, let us rename
for the soul of a man, and his undying flame
John Lewis, a giant among men
When will we see his like again, I don’t know when

(c) M. Skliar 2020

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


Robyn Mackenzie's picture

This sounds really polished for a one-take! Great lyrics and I like the way the guitar sounds.

cindyrella's picture

I'm happy you wrote about such an amazing man. He made such a difference. Love the guitar. Bravo!

fresh spotless youth's picture

Hats off for this jaunty number! Yes let's rename that bridge, though the old name rolls of the tongue nicely in this song. I like the idea of good trouble, and it makes for a rousing refrain

nancyrost's picture

I knew we could count on you for a John Lewis song! I like the upbeat music and spirit of this, celebrating that undying flame.

MarkG's picture

I don't know about renaming the bridge. I think it's iconic in the civil rights movement, and the fact that a Klansman's name will be linked to/overwhelmed by Black activism is sweet in a way. Of course Lewis should be honored in a major way, he was the conscious of America.

sherrycanary's picture

Nice tribute to John Lewis.
Really good chorus.
Personally, I think the bridge should be renamed.

as an aside, I thought maybe you would have written a Person man woman camera TV song Smile