Archive for January 29th, 2019


The Sun Came Out


Lyndsey Parker


For two years in a row, Barack Obama has included tracks from By the Way, I Forgive You, “The Joke” and “Every Time I Hear That Song” on his Spotify playlists. The irony isn’t lost on me that “The Joke,” which was inspired by the fallout from the 2016 presidential election, was celebrated by a president very different from the one currently in the White House…


Well, I certainly have a lot of respect for [Obama], and I think the irony of what you pointed out is certainly an interesting perspective too. I hadn’t thought of it that way, but you’re right. And if you listen closely to “The Joke,” you can hear him in it. You can hear Obama’s influence on me in that song. He influenced me in big ways during his presidency. I saw my parents get health insurance for the first time. I proposed to my wife on the day that he became the first American president ever to come out in support of marriage equality — and it had always bothered me that he hadn’t up until that point. I had the ring for a long time, and I had been waiting for the opportunity to propose to Catherine [Shepherd, who is British], but we kept hitting roadblocks with DOMA. We kept hitting roadblocks with the airports and the borders, and getting to and from the U.S. together without having to lie about our relationship. We were very discouraged at the time. So when [Obama] came out [in support of gay marriage], it was like the sun came out.



There are detractors out there who think artists should just “shut up and sing” and keep politics out of music…

Being told to “stop being political” is just hilarious to me. I wake up every day political: a gay mom raising a house full of women. There’s really nothing not political about that. So, I can write about my own personal experience and have it be wildly political. That just happens to be the life and the hand I was dealt.


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