Dear Mr. President & Where Is the Love?

Marina Maida

Dear Mr. President – P!nk, 2006

I actually really like this song, it’s a guitar and vocals and that’s it. My first memory of this song was when P!nk sang it during an award show. She was on a pedestal with her guitar and there was a spotlight on her, she was wearing jeans and very minimalistic. So, every time I listen to the song now, it takes me back to watching her when I was a child. It was the first time I had ever seen a anyone, let alone a woman in the arts, call out such an political figure such as the president for his wrong-doings. It’s sorrowful, and saddening but such a powerful song.

I think it’s really apparent that P!nk is so emotional while she sings this particular song. She has a usual up beat, angst-y tone to her music and this is completely opposite that. Her voice is soft and strong: it’s clear that she feels true meaning in the lyrics, but is also aware of the weight that they hold.

This song was written in response to Bush’s presidency: his views on marriage equality, gender equality (women’s rights), the No Child Left Behind Act, as well as our involvement in the war in Iraq.

I’m considering this song because there was actually speculation to see if P!nk would update this song for Trump’s presidency in 2017. I think it offers an interesting view of the world from over a decade ago, and though we’ve made strides towards equality, this song is still completely relevant today.

Though many songs that address social justice issues, may focus on one group or one issue or one cause, and P!nk addresses multiple, and I think that would be something difficult and quizzical to unpack.


Where Is The Love? – The Black Eyed Peas ft. Justin Timberlake, 2003

I like this song as well! In comparison to Dear Mr President, Where Is The Love? is a bop: it’s hip hop meets pop music with Justin Timberlake’s influence. The song was featured on the Billboard Hot 100 for a few weeks, and the group even received Grammy nominations for this song in particular.

Their voices and the music mirror other popular music of the time. Its has a clear beat, drums, use of a synthesizer.

In 2017, there were two large instances where other musicians either remixed or collaborated with the group with the song. Ariana Grande covered the song for her One Love Manchester concert and Gwen Stefani covered the song at a Hyundai launch event.

The song is primarily talking about police brutality, racism, and national and global terrorism.