Listen to everything around you. The trees, the wind, and the people – they all make sounds. Sounds in which our ancestors long ago turned into harmonies, melodies, and eventually music. Probably not the type we still listen to today, but it definitely was a start to something beautiful. For centuries, music has been used as a method to bring uncomfortable and dark social issues into the light in a beautiful way, and Ben Haggerty has done just that.
Ben William Haggerty, commonly referred to in pop-culture as Macklemore, released his fourth single from his 2012 debut studio album, in hopes that it would catapult the legalization of same-sex marriage in Washington.
During the time of the publication of this song, same-sex marriage was and still is a controversial topic nationally. (wiki) Macklemore uses expressive and bold verses, and blunt truths about the matter to strength his sense of pathos in the song “Same Love”.
The main point of the song is to help legalize gay marriage in Washington, which is eventually achieved in December of 2012, 5 months following the release of the song.
Although the song is primarily about gay shaming, the song covers a wide range of social topics ranging from gay stereotypes to wars about religion.” Gay is synonymous with the lesser, it’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion, Gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment…..”.
Macklemore writes about the similarities between the hating of gays and the hating of people for their skin colors.
He brings it together to show that hating someone for who they are, or what they look like is the all the same thing. The chorus of the song repeats ” I can’t change, even if I tried…” and that is exactly the case with gays and colored people. They are born the way they are and they cannot change it. Macklemore’s use of pathos in the chorus hits the listener hard because it repeats that the people cannot change. They are born into their lifestyle or their skin color. They cannot change. Not only are the victims of gay shaming being mad fun of something that they cannot control, but also some are loosing their lives from it.
Macklemore’s strengthens his use of pathos as the song progress, probably because he needs to sooth the listener into the topic before he gets into the uncomfortable parts. He starts the song by saying “When I was in the third grade I thought that I was gay, ‘Cause I could draw, my uncle was, and I kept my room straight.” And then continues to say ” When kids are walking ’round the hallway plagued by pain in their heart A world so hateful some would rather die than be who they are…”. The two-separate examples strike at different parts of our emotions.
The first example hits emotions because it talking about a confused child. It is sad that think that a kid would think he was different because of the stereotypes surrounding him. But the second example speaks about kids killing themselves because of what people are saying to them. His word choice of ‘plagued’ conveys the fact that hate is like a disease, and even when one thinks it is gone, it just keeps spreading and infecting people with the hate. Macklemore writes his song “Same Love” from personal life experiences. His uncle is gay, and by the end you learn that all he wants in the end is to be able to see his uncles get married. Love is love and Macklemore shows that time and time again throughout his song. Pathos is the key into the hearts of the listener, and Macklemore uses it in a great way, and this may be evident in the legalization of same-sex marriage in Washington.