The Sound (John M. Perkins' Blues)

Album: Hello Hurricane (2009)

Songfacts®:

  • This was a last minute addition to Hello Hurricane. Frontman Jon Foreman explained to New Release Tuesday: "When we were making the final list, I showed this song to Tim (Foreman, bass) (he's my first line of defense - If it gets past Tim, then there's a chance we'll track it). He was as excited as I was. We wanted to have a song with a steady, relentless pulse on the record and we all knew that this one fit the bill. The chorus was originally much more of a straightforward lyric, maybe too much so. So we redid the chorus and began to rewrite the verse lyrics to match the chorus vibe."
  • This song references American civil rights activist John M. Perkins. Jon Foreman told NewReleaseTuesday: "Lyrically, I feel like this song is a corollary of Hello Hurricane. I was reading a book at the time, Let Justice Roll Down - it's the autobiography of John Perkins, given to me by a friend of mine. I was struck by Perkins' honesty and humility. He describes the Jim Crow world of not so very long ago with brutal honesty. We are a haunted nation. Whether we admit it or not, the past runs through our veins. Listen to the streets, they'll tell you the same. We can cover up our racism and narrow-minded bigotry with excuses and time but the sins of the past cry out from the ground. The undercurrents from our history are always buzzing around our ears. But rising above the constant gnawing of past wrongs is the song of Love. Love is the reconciliation. The deliberate act of forgiveness. The deliberate act of moving forward unencumbered by the past. This is the sound. This is the sound."

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