Thoughts and Prayers by Mason Summit
By Sophie Minello
In too many times of crisis, politicians give people their thoughts and prayers instead of using their power to make policy and change. Citizens recognize this lack of action with great disappointment in their hearts... and sometimes, they even write songs about it. Mason Summit’s newest single entitled “Thoughts and Prayers” is a satirical take on the empty words we’ve all heard spoken on the TV’s. Summit knows what’s up, stating “It can be hard to find the energy for creativity when the most powerful people in the country use their power to harass sexual assault survivors and destroy the planet. But I’m inspired by a quote by Phil Ochs, one of my favorite songwriters: ‘In such ugly times, the only true protest is beauty.’”
Summit truly does construct a song of beauty, though it is a dark beauty. It begins a catchy drum beat with a static sound fluctuating around, reflecting the madness of the world. Slowly the instruments come together to create a beat that is bound to make your head bop. Then Summit’s voice fills your ears and things get a little more serious. He describes the scene in nonchalant sentences that hold a great impact for listeners. From the view of a wounded victim in one of the all too frequent acts of gun violence, he articulates how incredibly lazy the phrase “thoughts and prayers” is. The chorus sings, “So thank you for your thoughts and prayers / They made all the difference / As I bled out, gasping for air / You were of great assistance.” The ending of the song provokes chaos, distorted voices being heard through the static and sound waves. It fades out slowly, a fitting ending considering how quickly violent events fade from people’s minds.
But Summit doesn’t want any of this to fade from your mind. He states, “I’m simply using what tools I have at my disposal — my musical ability — to express the rage and grief I feel with each mass shooting. I hope this song can help others process or articulate their feelings, and can motivate my generation into action.” The message is loud without the song having to be. Summit isn’t screaming at you, he’s just putting out a call to action.
The release was carefully calculated, as it’s out on the 2018 Election Day. It’s important to vote and to encourage those around you to vote. Especially in light of the recent gun violence that is weighing down the world, people must use their voices to be agents of change. You can make a change, further than the act of mere thoughts and prayers, at the polls this month!