30 Songs/30 Days….Half The Sky!


“Women hold up half the sky!” is the sentiment of a new social movement inspired by the book “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide”, by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDun. The couple are the first married couple to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism for their coverage of China while working for the New York Times.

Their new book, a compilation of stories of women from developing countries that have endured social, physical, educational inequality,and sexual violations, is shining a light on the vast amount of inequalities and injustices that women and girls face globally. The book addresses the issues of sex trafficking, maternal mortality, gender based violence, and offers some solutions to the problems. A documentary detailing the journey of the book and the stories of the women and girls affected, will air on PBS’ Independent Lens October 1-2. Check your local listings for air time.

I know what you are thinking, “Steen, this is a music review site, not a book club.” You’re right, it’s not. But I wanted to give you some background about the project before I share the music. Oh yeah, there is music in this here movement!

It does my heart good to see social awareness groups and movements using music to help spread their message. Those of you who have been following 165 Radio and 165 SoundChex are very familiar with my deep feelings about the power of sound and music. Music transcends language, culture, religion, politics,sexuality,race, gender and species. It is the foundational form of communication for all creation. I truly believe that because everything in creation sings, that God didn’t just speak creation into being, He sang it into being!

My favorite quote, by someone unknown is: “If you want me to know what’s on my mind; I can tell you. But if you want to know what I’m feeling, I’ll have to sing it to you.” Music comes from your heart! And anything that comes from your heart needs little translation….

Having said that, I am over joyed at the fact that the Half The Sky movement has included music in their campaign. The 30 Songs/30 Days campaign brings amazing female artists from around the world together to create 30 songs that inspire hope, change and empowerment. Each day, over  30 days a song is released via the Half the Sky website. The project started Sept 3rd and goes on through Oct. 2nd.

Today’s song, The Sea” by the super amazing artist Corrine Bailey Rae, is a powerful example of how music transcends language. The Manchester, England native released the song, the title track for her second solo album, in 2010 to much critical aclaim. The artist donated the song to the Half the Sky Movement in hopes to bring awareness.

Corinne Bailey Rae

“The Sea” is a perfect song to add to such an iconic movement. One thing that I believe is that music can be a friend. And this song was a friend to me. Girlfriend knew what I was talking about! I can’t tell you how many times I belted this one out riding down the freeway, or with my bff in her kitchen.OoooWeee! Now, women (and men; I know some men who sang this song like Tupac wrote it!)  all over the world get the opportunity to belt out the song for another reason-the empowerment of women and girls all over the world!

The bluesy track accompanied by Corrine’s pouty voice (I love her voice) oozes understanding of how it feels when the blinders of love come off our eyes and offers hope and encouragement to make a change. “Goodbye paradise/ I hope that someday you could try/ Goodbye, you’re so changed that you’d give it all away/ Goodbye, goodbye”

Others artists on the 30 songs/30 days list include:

The Mccray Sisters, Gimma Hayes, India Arie, Nora Jones, A Fine Frenzy, Emmylou Harris, Julia Stone, Brandi Carlisle,Amy Grant, Angelique Kidjoe with Alicia Keys, Annie Lennox, Bonnie Raitt, and more! You can visit the 30 Songs/30 Day page on the Half The Sky Movement website for a complete list of the artists and the songs.

Go to the website, check out the artists and the songs and try to find a new meaning the songs you already heard. As I said earlier, The Sea was a good friend to me, for personal reasons. But now, through the Half The Sky Movement, the song takes on a new meaning. It is no longer resonates as a just song that got me through a touch situation; it has now become a song of inspiration and  an anthem for healing and change for women and girls around the world.

Mark your calendars for October 1-2 for the four hour Half The Sky Documentary, on PBS! Join the world as we inspire, encourage and empower women to keep holding up Half The Sky.

Love you guys!



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