The pop punk band Good Charlotte will release their new album Generation Rx next week, but the video for the song “Prayers” dropped earlier today. It’s a deeply emotional song about the immigration crisis and the futility of God in fixing the mess.
The video itself tells the story of a friend of the band with immigrant parents who still “contribute to their community even though they are under constant threat of deportation by I.C.E.” The lyrics rebuke those who only offer thoughts and prayers in the midst of such a crisis.
Prayers, they don’t mean a thing at all
Do they answer when you call?
These prayers, when you don’t mean what you say
Would you die for me today?
No, I just can’t relate
None of this makes sense in this reality
God just leaves the room when I turn on my TV
I see a little girl who’s crying ’cause she lost her family
All these strangers sending thoughts and prayers
She’s buried underneath
Billy Martin, the guitarist for the band, told me earlier tonight that while the video has a clear focus, the song itself had a variety of inspirations.
Personally, I didn’t grow up with religion and I believe much more in what people can do for themselves. We travel all around the world and there are a lot of real events that have happened in the last few years that make you question how safe we really are. I’m from Annapolis, MD and the shooting at the Capital Gazette hit close to home. That specific event didn’t inspire the song (since it was written prior to), but it feels very relevant to the lyrics nonetheless.
He added that while it’s shocking to see some commenters calling the song “un-American,” music is “supposed to be emotional and it’s OK to stir up reactions.”
I would add that the song takes on special resonance for me because the country’s barbaric immigration policies are the result of people who remain in power due to the unwavering support (or, at best, tolerance) by white evangelical Christians. Prayer gives some people hope. But many of the people offering prayers could do much more by speaking out against this administration.
(Thanks to Andrew for the link)