Serendipitously, after yesterday’s “walk on the ocean,” today we’re back on solid ground.
Browsing through some YouTube suggestions, I found an achingly beautiful video of English indie rock/soul singer-songwriter and musician Michael Kiwanuka (b. 1987) performing an acoustic version of his song “Solid Ground.”
There is melancholy in the singer’s plea for help and reassurance, and the simplicity of the grand piano and solo voice performance adds to the mood’s sparseness. The first few words of the first verse remind me so much of another song, but I cannot recall it. Anyway, it’s an extraordinary piece.
“How does it feel when it’s quiet and calm?
And will I be denied?
How will it feel when it’s time to move on?
Mother says kneel and pray
When it gets hard, I will roll those sleeves
Life can be so unkind
I will be found on the edge of the world
Where there’ll be no one around
Oh, solid ground
How does it feel to be on your own?
No one to understand
I know I’m here and I don’t belong
I’m on my knees today
When it gets dark, I will know no fear
Life can be so unkind
Hanging around on the edge of the world
Finally no one around, ooh
Would you help me?
I don’t understand
Is it over?
Am I losing solid ground?
“Solid Ground,” by Michael Kiwanuka, Dean Josiah Cover, Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse).
Lyrics retrieved from AZLyrics.com.
“Solid Ground comes from Kiwanuka’s third studio album, Kiwanuka (2019). Writer Ann Powers of Slate magazine describes the album as a “song cycle alchemizing violence through compassion.” Kiwanuka wrote all songs on the record along with fellow songwriters and producers Dean Josiah Cover, aka Inflo (from England) and Brian Burton (from the USA), who also goes by the name Danger Mouse. For more of Burton’s work, please visit my post on Norah Jones’s “Good Morning.” And for more Kiwanuka songs co-written with Cover and Burton, please check out my posts on the incredible songs “Cold Little Heart” and “Love & Hate.”
Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here.
Here’s the official video for the song on the Michael Kiwanuka YouTube/VEVO channel, from a live performance for The Late Late Show With James Corden:
With my best wishes,