The message of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ reflection on same sex love, SAME LOVE (featuring Mary Lambert) is pretty straightforward. It’s a plea for understanding, tolerance and acceptance. Towards its conclusion, it makes a strong argument for marriage equality.
In some ways, it’s beautifully simple. It’s an extended “call and response” between the spoken verses of the male voice and the sweet, melodic refrain from Mary Lambert in the choruses. The former “call” puzzles over the frustrations and hypocrisies involved in certain societal attitudes to homosexual love from areas as diverse as the church to the hip-hop industry, while the “response” of the chorus repeats three phrases that really should put an end to the entire discussion:
And I can’t change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
So, here’s 5 reasons to be cheered by this moving song and
the film clip that goes with it:
It’s good to see recording artists take the decision to stand for something and to put their creativity towards promoting the rights of a group that is, at times, marginalised,
It’s even better to see Macklemore & Lewis specifically tackle the extent to which their own industry, hip-hop, has tolerated (sometimes promoted) homophobia,
The whole-life narrative depicted in the video (co-directed by Lewis) sensitively depicts the developmental challenges of the gay person coming to terms with their identity. A clip such as this can provide succour to a young person going through these challenges in their own life.
The lovely repeated image of hand-holding that ties the whole video together - it begins with the birth of the central character and the holding of the baby’s tiny hand by his mother. At the end of the video, this character is old and infirm in a hospital bed, possibly dying. His husband is there by his side, holding his hand. The earlier image of the baby’s hand in his mother’s is briefly superimposed, reminding us of the circle of life.
The simplicity of the messages conveyed by the lines of the chorus extracted above, as well as these:
Strip away the fear
Underneath it’s all the same love
And that is really all there should be to it. So, let's take a look at the video:
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