Black History Month - Compared To What - The Power of Jazz
"Compared To What" was written by Eugene McDaniels in the late 1960s and first recorded by Roberta Flack in 1969 on her debut album 'First Take'. The song became an international hit when Les McCann and Eddie Harris recorded it later in 1969 live at the Montreux Jazz Festival for their very popular album 'Swiss Movement'. During a period of time when the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War continued, "Compared To What" offered a very honest assessment of social realities in America and captured the anger and frustration of a large mass of people forty years ago. Interestingly enough, most of topics covered in the lyrics of the song remain relevant today and the song still remains popular and has been covered by an incredible amount of artists in all genres.
Jazzfest Wiesen 1988
Les McCann - piano, voc
Eddie Harris - sax
Norman Farington - drums
Curtis Robinson Jr. - bass
Jimmy Owens - trumpet, flgh
I love the lie and lie the love
A-Hangin' on, with push and shove
Possession is the motivation
that is hangin' up the God-damn nation
Looks like we always end up in a rut (everybody now!)
Tryin' to make it real — compared to what? C'mon baby!
Slaughterhouse is killin' hogs
Twisted children killin' frogs
Poor dumb rednecks rollin' logs
Tired old lady kissin' dogs
I hate the human love of that stinking mutt (I can't use it!)
Try to make it real — compared to what? C'mon baby now!
The President, he's got his war
Folks don't know just what it's for
Nobody gives us rhyme or reason
Have one doubt, they call it treason
We're chicken-feathers, all without one nut. God damn it!
Tryin' to make it real — compared to what? (Sock it to me)
Church on Sunday, sleep and nod
Tryin' to duck the wrath of God
Preacher's fillin' us with fright
They all tryin' to teach us what they think is right
They really got to be some kind of nut (I can't use it!)
Tryin' to make it real — compared to what?
Where's that bee and where's that honey?
Where's my God and where's my money?
Unreal values, crass distortion
Unwed mothers need abortion
Kind of brings to mind ol' young King Tut (He did it now)
Tried to make it real — compared to what?!