The song gives me inspiration and assurance of the peace I enjoy in my country with an aim of reflecting on why these social ills are happening. It gives me a message of love and understanding to people as well as a call to the police to stop deaths associated with wars and protests.
The song “what’s going on” is a political song by Marvin Gaye drawing inspiration from an incident of police brutality on protesters who were protesting against wars as well as his brother’s account of a war in Vietnam. Imagine a life of no love or warmth but abuse and violence from your own father, the immense pain of losing a beloved duet partner to a brain tumor after three years of struggle against death and a spice of horror stories that move you to tears from your own blood brother returning from war. Life seems like living in darkness and the question in your mind is ‘what’s going on’?
The setting for the song is characterized by a lot of social ills in the United States. The society is filled with police brutally where protesters are killed in the streets every other day and leaders like Martin Lurther King, Malcolm X and Robert Kennedy were shot dead. War and fighting were so prominent then among other social evils. There was need for the people to realize that war does not solve anything and also to be reassured to hold on to their hopes. The song offered reprieve to the people as it protested against these things while preaching peace, love and understanding as pillars of a good community.