Moved by their mission and believing my particular skill sets to be especially useful to these ends, I volunteered as I could for Girls Rock Detroit from 2016-2018.
“Girls Rock Detroit is a community organization dedicated to fostering creative expression, positive self-esteem and community awareness for girls, women, gender non-conforming, and transgender people through music education and performance.
By encouraging creativity, confidence, and collaboration in a supportive environment, we strive to empower young people to challenge preconceived notions of what they can do, what they can become, and become engaged members of our communities.
We believe it is crucial that all young people have access to equipment and instruction regardless of their socio-economic background, religion, race, gender identity, sexuality or ethnicity.”
I mean, I personally harbor gender based doubts about my abilities as a musician and human being. And while I’ve since grown to disbelieve that conditioning, acting accordingly has proven a challenge. Girls Rock Detroit presented an opportunity for me to confront my subversive conditioning while using my skills as a teacher and musician to guide girls, women, gender non-conforming, and transgender individuals toward healthier musical self-awareness. It’s been a blessing to me and to the people it serves.
At the time that “Little Girl, Get Up” came into being, two major factors were at play. First, I had committed to writing a couple songs for “Rock Roulette,” an annual Girls Rock Detroit fundraiser that assembled temporary bands of volunteers – musicians and non-musicians – into bands that would arrange a cover and write two original songs to be performed by the bands at a one-time fundraising event.
Second, the #metoo movement had been in full swing for a few months already. I was neither unaffected by the tide of both pain and strength that emerged, nor was I unaware that in Girls Rock Detroit I was part of a community particularly affected. When I thought about the people I was writing for, myself included, the song just came to me:
“Little girl, get up and find your center
Little girl, get up and make your way, we’re moving on
Little girl, nobody’s got the answers
Little girl, it’s not you, it’s not you, it’s not”
In this chorus, I wanted to encourage, support, and comfort those affected by #rapeculture #patriarchy and everything that #metoo has served to bring to the forefront of social consciousness.
“And everybody knows that you do what you have to do
And everybody knows, might not look the same for me and you
You wish everybody cared, ha! Well they don’t, who you fighting for?
It’s not you, it’s not you, it’s not you, it’s not”
In this verse I’m giving permission to the affected to take care of themselves, whatever that means, reminding them that nobody will do it for them. At the same time, it’s a bit of a cynical acknowledgement of the discrepancy between expectation and reality.
“I never would’ve done it if I had known, the devil’s in the details and when it shows…”
The bridge echos the sentiment we’ve been hearing from all sides. For centuries from victims, “This is my fault, I should’ve known better.” Recently, from perpetrators, “This has always been acceptable behavior, how was I to know I was hurting someone?” The cry echoes and escalates until the climax finally gives way to the sentiment of the chorus, urging us all to keep looking forward and never back.
#allthefeels #littlegirlgetup #scienceforsociopaths
A fully produced rendition of “Little Girl, Get Up” will be released in early 2019. In the meantime, please enjoy this solo acoustic rendition as filmed for Roadie TV.
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