Norah Jones, Election Day, and Disappointment

norah jonesNorah Jones could be one of the greatest jazz female singers of all time. There’s something in her voice that sounds natural. I like the natural-ness of hers as a whole. So honest and sincere. Simply likeable. There’s no abundant use of synthesizer or audio modification to her voice resulting in a heavily edited record. That explains a lot why acoustic music has been my favorite all this time.

In her song below titled “My Dear Country”, I can feel it. And it’s basically not a cheesy love song. So this is very special. Probably one of its kind. A patriotic jazz song.

You’ll like an artist when you hear something clicking after enjoying his or her works of art. You don’t have to speak up but suddenly upon enjoying her/ his work works, you know you’re not alone. You know you’re very well understood. Almost perfectly even. And all of a sudden, the world is lit up.

Even she’s American by nationality, but here I can feel she sings about Indonesia, my country. Because I feel the same confusion as a citizen as well. I don’t know where this nation is heading, to be honest. Even after the new president was appointed, things don’t change at an instant. Yes, I know it takes time to make changes but the more I wait, the more I get drained and my hope is thinning. Are we really headed to betterment? Or another form of destruction? Heaven knows.

The days after the election day show no improvement. There’s only political uproar day by day on media outlets and some nonsensical battle of ‘wits’, if they — those politicians and so-called statesmen — still have.

We Indonesians chose Joko Widodo because “who knows, maybe he’s not deranged”, says Ms. Jones. He may not be as megalomaniac as Prabowo or Soeharto or as melancholic as Susilo. We keep our fingers crossed until now, hoping he doesn’t turn a monster, or even worse, a loser, like the predecessors. We’ve had enough with low quality, corrupt leadership.

Here’s the lyrics for you.

“My Dear Country”

‘Twas Halloween and the ghosts were out,
And everywhere they’d go, they shout,
And though I covered my eyes I knew,
They’d go away.

But fear’s the only thing I saw,
And three days later ’twas clear to all,
That nothing is as scary as election day.

But the day after is darker,
And darker and darker it goes,
Who knows, maybe the plans will change,
Who knows, maybe he’s not deranged.

The news men know what they know, but they,
Know even less than what they say,
And I don’t know who I can trust,
For they come what may.

’cause we believed in our candidate,
But even more it’s the one we hate,
I needed someone I could shake,
On election day.

But the day after is darker,
And deeper and deeper we go,
Who knows, maybe it’s all a dream,
Who knows if I’ll wake up and scream.

I love the things that you’ve given me,
I cherish you my dear country,
But sometimes I don’t understand,
The way we play.

I love the things that you’ve given me,
And most of all that I am free,
To have a song that I can sing,
On election day.

There are, I admit, moments when I want to scream,”I wish my country of origin were not Indonesia!!!” I want to move to Switzerland or any more developed country where welfare is way more well guaranteed by my government. Indonesia is pathetic in many aspects despite its nature beauty and abundant natural and human resources.

Jones loves the things her country has given her and cherish it but she still cannot understand the way the country is run and managed by the insane statesmen and politicians. So do I.

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