Listen to Dave Hause’s poignant “Seasons Greetings from Ferguson”
“We need new Dylans. New Public Enemys. New Simones. New De La Roachas. New ideas!” Questlove said this last week in the wake of the news about the Eric Garner case – the second time this fall that a U.S. grand jury has declined to indict a white police officer implicated in the death of an unarmed black suspect – and his point was clear. In times of social injustice, it’s the responsibility of musicians and artists to make their voices heard.
Philly’s Dave Hause provides an answer to that call with “Seasons Greetings from Ferguson,” a new song recorded and released as a lyric video on his YouTube page. Hause wrote it as a response to the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Missouri, but as he says on YouTube: “With the announcement in NYC these themes are sadly just as relevant as they were last week or any day in America. Take care out there.”
With solemn, reverb-laden acoustic strumming and Hause’s solitary voice, the song undeniably takes the shape of Springsteen’s similarly social-justice minded 1982 album Nebraska. Lyrically, Hause covers a range of ideas and emotions in the span of three minutes – arrogant calls for “peaceful protest” from citizens whose communities aren’t affected; the contradictions and conflicts of Thanksgiving celebration and Black Friday shopping in the wake of harrowing events; and ultimately a lack of faith of equality in the U.S.
It’s an important, poignant and heartfelt statement, and Hause hammers it home singing “To be honest, it’s getting pretty hard to believe / in a system that won’t intervene / on behalf of a few and not a greedy machine.”
Listen to “Seasons Greetings from Ferguson” below. For another artist answering Questlove’s call, download Chill Moody’s “We’re Worth More,” also released in response to the Brown case.