My Morning Jacket Share Funky Yet Heartfelt Song In Wake of Recent Violence

The past few days have sucked. Between the two latest high-profile police shootings of black males and the murder of police officers in Dallas, the violence present in our society – yes, ours, as in the whole world – is becoming impossible to ignore. Black Lives Matter protesters have once again taken to the streets with a powerful message: Stop killing us. There’s always an outpouring of grief in the wake of a shooting, with members of every community pleading for the violence to stop (including a new Jay Z track). Now My Morning Jacket have added their voices to the call, releasing a new song Magic Bullet, along with a heartfelt message.

The mood of the piece is somber, but harnesses the funk that My Morning Jacket is known for. An attitude of dread builds from the start, and is underlying throughout the whole track. It’s the lyrics that drive the band’s message home, though. In one big call for change, Jim James (who recently appeared in a cute and moving Chipotle ad which also featured Alabama Shakes) expresses his  frustration at the system. “Ain’t no magic bullet/Come from a magic shell” he sings painfully. Later, he castigates his inability to find the solution that he knows is inside him. “But I know there’s a solution/Deep within myself/But I ain’t never gonna reach it/Without somebody’s help.” The pain is evident in his voice as he nearly screams the final series of “Come on,” in part to the listener, in part to himself.

The track is accompanied by a lengthy statement from the band, in which MMJ state “I don’t pretend to think that a song can fix or change the world instantly…. BUT if we say nothing then nothing will ever change. and things have got to change.” Read the full statement below, along with the lyrics of Magic Bullet.

MMJ’s Statement:

violence is never the answer.
only love.
we all need to be a part of the discussion.
part of the solution.
how long will it take before we realize-
we are all the same.
this is not idealistic dreaming.
this is a fact-
we all want only to love and be loved.
to nuture and protect those we love.

hate comes from the illusion that we are separate and cut off from
one another by factors like race and religion but this simply is not true.

it does not matter your race/creed/sexual orientation we are all filled with the same beautiful blood- a mix of old and new generations… past present and future…we are all in there somewhere…in the blood lines together…all of humanity.

a beautiful mix of male and female and all the colors rolled up into this wonderful gift we call life. a gift that should be celebrated like the beautiful rainbow that it is- not riddled by bullets and cut to pieces spilling and wasting that precious blood.

I don’t pretend to think that a song can fix or change the world instantly, and I don’t pretend to know the ins and outs of the political landscape and proper gun control legislation-
BUT if we say nothing then nothing will ever change.
and things have got to change.

so maybe if we all sing out-
if we all speak out- for peace. for equality. for justice. for an end to the violence…then perhaps we can together change the world for the better-
create a world of true peace, love, and acceptance where our differences are celebrated because we realize they are in fact all just shades of the same wondrous human rainbow.

dare to dream. dreams can come true.

no one said it better than Dr. King:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” here is a wish from us to you for peace,love, understanding, and an end to the violence.

we hope you enjoy this song that basically says
there can be a solution…
but none of us can do it alone.
we have to get together.

peace and love,
my morning jacket

Magic Bullet Lyrics

Ain’t no magic bullet come from magic shell.
No other way to put it. Far as i can tell.
Ain’t no way to solve a problem of the streets.
With an itchy trigger finger…
servant of disease.
I mean come on…

Hear it from the people. Read it in the press.
Learn it at the steeple. Forget it in distress.
Lookin for salvation…just a little help.
But it never seems to find me…
i’m gonna take it for myself.
I mean c’mon….
(there’s got to be a better way)

That low feelin starts to get to me-
need to find escape.
So smoke it fills the lungs…
and drink corrupts the brain.
And morals get confused…
in a desperate mind.
And there ain’t no wrong or right…
in a desperate time.

But i know there’s a solution-
deep within myself.
But i ain’t never gonna reach it…
without somebody’s help.
I mean a come on…

Image: Pop Matters