A song that plays as a lament spoken to God about the loss of identity, family, and a reflection of his ancestors slavery in America and the want to be taken to “a better place” to “forget all that hurts”, “Tennessee” by Arrested Development, can be is a complicated piece and an easy piece to identify with.
When reading lyrics about African-American life and past and a relationship to God, a caucasion atheist from Wisconsin maybe hard pressed to understand what about this draws his attention twenty years after its release?
Perhaps its that as humans, we all suffer at times. Perhaps its that AD founder Speech is a Wisconsin native. Perhaps its that Tennessee was a place of importance and transformation in life. Perhaps its that when this song was first released, it was catchy, but didn’t hold any meaning and now, as an adult, re-reading the lyrics, one can appreciate the power and the personal meaning of Speech’s verse. Perhaps it is all of the above. It is all of the above.
I woke up this morning with this song playing in my head and what I mean is that I didn’t wake up and this song started playing. I drifted back to reality with this song running the whole time. That happens from time to time.
From the 1992 release 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of… is Arrested Developments’ “Tennessee”. Occasionally corny, occasionally preachy, but always thoughtful, give it a minute and anyone can relate to it.