Stoner-Rockers Lionize Cover Simon and Garfunkel’s “America”


America, land of the free, home of the Trump voters. This year’s election has left this country with wide-open wounds, and its divisive result has rendered everyone with an opinion, one way or another, on our new president-elect. A lot of progressives think things can’t get much worse, while a considerable amount of conservatives are of the mindset that things are about to get better. I’m not here to judge one way or the other, it’s not my place to tell others how they should think, feel, or act, but I have noticed one constant amidst all the fallout: this country is demanding change.

The call for a candidate that breaks the mold of a”career politician” is an indicator of America’s unanimous insistence on a new direction. Just look at the movement that lined up behind Sanders, and to a lesser extent Clinton, and the vitriol that has aligned itself with Trump. Both sides were angry, both sides wanted change, and both sides went about pursuing their idea of it in drastically different ways. In spite of our divides, this is part of what makes this country great — we have the right to voice our opinions one way or another. We are capable of creating these divisions, but we’re also capable of healing them.

Today, America feels as lost as it ever was. The insecurity of what the next four years might hold resonates with people on both sides, negatively or positively. What kind of change this country will face has yet to be determined, but if the sheer amount of recent protests are any indicator, people are insisting upon a new direction that gives everyone an equal chance to live, enjoy, and be a part of this country without the fear of racism, bigotry, and hate. Personally, I don’t think that’s too much to ask. If anything, I think it’s a right owed to everyone rich or poor, black or white. Unfortunately, everything isn’t as simple as that and there will always be shades of proverbial gray. What we do with those shades will dictate the course of the future, not just for ourselves, but for the world as a whole. I can only hope that the results will be positive, and fight if they end up otherwise. That’s all any of us can do.

Simon and Garfunkel painted a picture of their United States with the track “America” almost 50 years ago. The song’s iconic refrain focuses on uncertainty, on searching… On demanding more from whatever place we call home. When looked at from that perspective, the song speaks to more than just Americans, it speaks to everyone. It taps into a universal consciousness that is constantly in flux due to the rapidly changing pace of technology, the economy, and politics. It’s one that treats America as an idea, rather than a concrete place. And in that regard, it manages to promote the idea of America as something we’re all looking for.

The song was recently beautifully covered by the stoner / reggae / hard rock group Lionize. The request for the cover was made by one of the two presidential candidates’ media teams. The band doesn’t reveal which, but ultimately it doesn’t matter. What does matter is the amount of care that went into recreating the tune; it’s a stellar cover from start to finish, and it’s one that rings just as true as when the song was originally released almost five decades ago.

Lionize released this statement about the cover:

“During the 2016 presidential campaign Lionize was asked by one of the candidate’s media team to record Simon and Garfunkel‘s 1968 song ‘America.’ This song is not for sale and it’s contents belong to the original songwriters and copyright owners. This is only the second time in the bands 10-plus year history that they have recorded another artist’s song.”

Long tangent for an introduction to a cover track, I know — probably more than you ever cared to read — but I feel it needed to be said. Here’s to hoping that the next four years won’t set us back twenty.

You can go ahead and hit play now. Thanks for hearing me out.


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