One Hand Up

 

I’ve been a fan of The Strumbellas ever since I first heard ‘Sailing’ during a Hockey Night in Canada Remembrance Day montage made by Tim Thompson.

I immediately downloaded all their available music, and have become an even bigger fan with each subsequent release and live show (seen them twice, hope to again soon).

They just dropped a new album last week, and I can stop listening to it. Paste Magazine recently lauded the band for creating songs of hope in a dark time, and that’s a perfect way to describe their vibe.

In this time of division and rancor, songs of community and hope are needed more than ever. But such songs are useful only if they can persuade us to trust their message. And that’s one of the hardest tricks to pull off in pop music. In fact, any hint of sappy sentiment or formulaic bromides is likely to create mistrust and produce more pessimism than optimism.

That’s why the Strumbellas are the right band at the right time. The Ontario sextet’s new album Rattlesnake boasts the kind of anthemic choruses that can rouse an audience from its seats to dance in place and sing along. The stimulus is not so much the positive lyrics—which are easy to write—but rather the magnetic melodies, which are so difficult to come up with.

The song posted above stands out as an early favourite off Rattlesnake. I love the lyrics, love the tune, and have it on repeat. I hope you enjoy as much as I do.

[Verse 1]
We can burn bright if we want to
Like stars in the night when they’re shining through
We can explode just like dynamite
To where, we don’t know

[Pre-Chorus]
There’s no turning back, so raise it high

[Chorus]
We can hold one hand up for tomorrow
We can hold one hand up to the stars
We can be the change that we wanna see
Just don’t give up on me, yeah

[Verse 2]
We can be the love and we’ll teach ’em how
We’re pounding on the drum when they say “Quite down”
We can go wild if we want to
We can run for miles

[Pre-Chorus]
There’s no turning back, so raise it high

[Chorus]
We can hold one hand up for tomorrow
We can hold one hand up to the stars
We can be the change that we wanna see
Just don’t give up on me
We can hold one hand up when we get there
We can hold one hand up for the gold
We can be the change that we wanna see
There’s no give-up in me, yeah

[Bridge]
It’ll change you life, it’ll change your life, oh my
It’ll change you life, it’ll change your life, oh my
It’ll change you life, it’ll change your life, oh my
It’ll change you life, it’ll change your life, oh my
It’ll change you life, it’ll change your life, oh my
It’ll change you life, it’ll change your life, oh

[Chorus]
We can hold one hand up for tomorrow
We can hold one hand up to the stars
We can be the change that we wanna see
Just don’t give up on me
We can hold one hand up when we get there
We can hold one hand up when we win
We can be the change that we wanna see
There’s no give-up in me, yeah

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