By Paige Tucker

On Feb 14, my girl Jessica and I rode to Atlanta for the Snarky Puppy concert. Yeah, I spent Valentine’s Day with my homegirl instead of my husband. You DID read that Snarky Puppy was involved, right? Ok, cool. We learned of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida on the way to the show.

For the encore, Snarky Puppy invited Russian jazz singer and composer Alina Engibaryan to join them on, What Do You Think of This World Now? by Hubert Laws.

The song was recorded in 1972 and I’ve included the lyrics within this piece, which I wrote the following day with the intent of posting to Facebook, after the Florida shootings.

Hey hey lovelies! I know we try to keep things upbeat in here but I want to take a moment to share something very briefly about the school shooting yesterday.

Any time ANYTHING like this happens, it affects all of us. And, it affects us differently and  that’s ok.

You know that feeling you get when you hear about something tragic and wonder if any of your people are involved and then upon getting the all clear, you breathe that sigh of relief and get back to business as usual? Sending “warm thoughts and prayers” and such. But, THERE IS NO ALL CLEAR. Rethink, reflect, reconnect!

I ask people periodically, how are we going to change the world this week? What are we going to do to elevate our community?

“What do you think of this world now?”

When they promise love and peace

then you see around you hatred, strife, and racial hypocrisy. Some telling you how things are soon gonna be. You wonder what the future will truly hold. Politicians can speak so bold and promise to lead the way, if you give them your vote today then you hope and pray.

What do you think of this world now?

Warfare, drugs, ecology and then some make the claim that things have been the same throughout history. Just how can you erase what will always be? But have you heard the new things they prophesy? ‘Bout a kingdom that will not die. Where people won’t need to cry. When these problems are gone away in Jehovah’s day.”

-Hubert Laws, “What Do You Think Of This World Now” (1972)

I ask myself these questions as well. Let’s talk about it. Seriously.

Karen Gordon is a singer, songwriter and the founder of Garden City Jazz. She works with the City of Augusta to present the Candlelight Jazz Concert Series each year and has partnered with RCBOE to develop interactive courses such as Taking Notes: Jazz & The American Story and Jazz4Kids.

This article appears in the September 2018 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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