Michael Jackson empathised world issues in his songs
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Michael Jackson empathised world issues in his songs

On his 12th death anniversary, check out MJ's songs on social and environmental issues

Michael Jackson empathised world issues in his songs

New Delhi: Michael Jackson, famously known as 'King of Pop', made the entire world dance on his music was the most popular entertainer in early and mid-1980s. He was born on August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana, United States.

By 1984, Jackson was renowned as the 'King of Pop' worldwide. We all know that he brought immense joy to his fans through his pop songs, but, in his entire lifetime, he was the man who also raised various issues through compelling lyrics of his songs.

Michael Jackson was way ahead of his time. The times when pop songs were at the peak, he raised the environmental issues in his 'Earth' song. He also highlighted the issues of racial inequality in his  songs, that exists in society.

To me personally, it's hard to pick a single favourite. It's a bit like asking which one of your dogs you love the most.

Here are few songs of Michael Jackson that need to be the youth anthem:

Black or White

This is the first awareness song I heard on History, Volume I. I found the disc lying around at home, popped it into the CD player, and the message resonated instantly. Michael Jackson addressed racial  inequality with this song. Unfortunately, this is still relevant in the current scenario in the society.

Man in the Mirror

Arguably the most meaningful of all songs, given that it's 100 per cent true, and applies to all social issues. Being more compassionate to others and trying to understand their struggles is the key element in making the world a better place for all of us. Taking these words to heart makes you a better person.

Heal the World

This seemingly joyous and lovey-dovey song is pretty harsh. The immediate contrast between 'There are people dying' and 'but if you care enough for the living' is startling. This is a gentle call  reminding everybody that injustices everywhere are claiming lives on a daily basis, and our indifference is the reason why.

They Don't Care About Us

I think a part of this song is Michael simply reclaiming his blackness. No matter what he looked like, he was one of us. No matter how rich, famous, or vitiligo-stricken, he cared about those who were being trampled by the powers that be. There's raw anger and outrage that Michael exhibits against the system. There are two short film versions of the song. A prison version and a  ghetto/slum version shot in Brazil.

In the song’s second video, Jackson is filmed handcuffed in a prison with cuts of real footage of police brutality, the Ku Klux Klan, Tiananmen Square, and other abuses of human rights.

Earth Song

Michael Jackson was a big advocate for environmental issues and global peace. This song was based on changing climatic conditions in the environment.

Much like they don’t really care about us, we see a sombre Michael calling out our exploitation of Earth, its natural resources, and the suffering it causes to humans and animals. He often talked about the planet as if it is a person, even conceptually explaining global warming as the planet having 'a fever'. The mood of the song shifts from sad and helpless, to angry and questioning.

Beat it

During the 1980s, fights were a lot more common in schools as they are now. The punishments were less severe, and schools didn't have zero-tolerance rules during that time. One of the important issues was bullying. This hit by Jackson from 1983 was based on the same subject.