Holy War

Songfacts®:

  • Alicia Keys sings on this free love anthem about remembering to love, instead of hating our fellow man. She pleads for tolerance and compassion to win out over the destructive forces of ignorance and, violence.

    If war is holy and sex is obscene
    Then we got it twisted in this lucid dream
    Baptized in boundaries, schooled in sin
    Divided by difference, sexuality and skin


    Keys wrote the song with Billy Walsh and Alejandro Sanz. She told English newspaper The Sun: "We had this conversation about what we define truth as and what we say is holy. And the perspective of the song is that we call war 'holy' and yet sex is 'obscene.' It left us confused."
  • Keys shared the song at the MTV Video Music Awards on August 28, 2016 to mark the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.
  • Keys told Rolling Stone when asked about this song: "We get so afraid to talk to our kids about sex, or we wanna hide all of our body parts and don't let anybody see the beauty of love and lovemaking, yet we let kids play Call of Duty all day and all night, and that's, like, no problem? It's very confusing and twisted.

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