What’s Going On song by Marvin Gaye

About The Song

“What’s Going On” is a classic soul protest song performed by Marvin Gaye. Here are the details:

Title: What’s Going On

Artist: Marvin Gaye

Genre: Soul, R&B

Release Date: January 20, 1971

Album: What’s Going On (1971)

Songwriters: Al Cleveland, Marvin Gaye, Renaldo Benson

Key Themes: “What’s Going On” addresses social and political issues, including racism, war, and environmental concerns. The lyrics are a poignant reflection on the state of the world and a call for empathy and understanding. The song is framed as a conversation between a Vietnam War veteran and a protester, seeking answers to the question of what is happening in the world.

Musical Style: The song features a distinctive and innovative musical arrangement that blends soul, R&B, and elements of jazz. Marvin Gaye’s emotive vocals are complemented by lush orchestration, including strings, percussion, and a smooth saxophone. The production is characterized by its layered sound and a socially conscious narrative.

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Cultural Impact: “What’s Going On” was a groundbreaking release that defied traditional Motown conventions. It marked a departure from conventional love songs and reflected a more socially conscious era. The song resonated with audiences and became an anthem for those advocating for social change. It is considered one of the greatest songs in the history of popular music.

Legacy: The album “What’s Going On” and its title track have left an indelible mark on the music industry. Marvin Gaye’s exploration of social and political themes set a new standard for artistic expression in soul music. “What’s Going On” is often cited as one of the greatest protest songs and continues to be relevant in discussions about social justice and activism.

Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” is a timeless and influential masterpiece that transcends its era. Its social and political commentary, combined with its musical brilliance, has solidified its place as a classic that continues to inspire and resonate with listeners around the world.

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“What’s Going On”

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Hey, hey-hey
Hey, what’s happenin’?
Hey, brother, what’s happenin’?
Boy, this is a groovy party (Hey, how you doin’?)
Man, I can dig it
Yeah, brother, solid, right on
What’s happenin’?
Hey, man, what’s happening?
Everything is everything
We’re gonna do a get down today, boy, I’ll tell yaMother, mother
There’s too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There’s far too many of you dying
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today – yeah

Father, father
We don’t need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer
For only love can conquer hate
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today, oh (Oh)

Picket lines (Sister) and picket signs (Sister)
Don’t punish me (Sister) with brutality (Sister)
Talk to me (Sister), so you can see (Sister)
Oh, what’s going on (What’s going on)
What’s going on (What’s going on)
Yeah, what’s going on (What’s going on)
Oh, what’s going on

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(In the meantime, right on, baby)
Woo (Right on, baby), woo
Ah-ya-ya-ya-ya-ya-ya, ya-ya-ya-ya-ya
Woo (Right on, baby, right on)
Right on
Ah-ya-ya-ya-ya-ya-ya, ya-ya-ya-ya-ya

Mother, mother, everybody thinks we’re wrong
Oh, but who are they to judge us
Simply because our hair is long
Oh, you know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some understanding here today

Picket lines and picket signs
Don’t punish me with brutality
Talk to me
So you can see
What’s going on
Yeah, what’s going on
Tell me what’s going on
I’ll tell you what’s going on – uh
Right on baby
Right on baby

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