Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
July 18, 1918 - December 5, 2013 Rest In Peace
( Archives Nelson Mandela Org. )
U2, Ordinary Love
U2, Ordinary Love
U2 made this heartfelt song for the newly released film "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom," a biopic on the man himself. When "Ordinary Love" dropped weeks ago, it was first new material from the rock band since 2010's "Soon," premiered on the "U2 360 at the Rose Bowl" soundtrack. With lyrics like, "We cannot reach any higher/ If we can't feel ordinary love," Bono tried to embody what Mandela stood for.
N'Dour is one of Senegal's most famous cultural icons, and his genre-bending repertoire has found him collaborating with Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen, and Wyclef Jean. In 1986, N'Dour released an album entitled "Nelson Mandela," as a tribute to the future President of South Africa.
Written as a mix of Zulu and English, the title of this Mandela freedom track is Zulu for "We have not seen him"; at that point, no one had seen Mandela outside of prison for more than two decades. Hailing from South Africa, Clegg stirred up controversy for not only writing this protest hit, but for also having bandmates of different races during the days of Apartheid. In 1999, the band was joined onstage by Mandela during a performance of "Asimbonanga."
Soon after Tracy Chapman rose to fame for her No. 1 self-titled album in 1988, she found herself writing and performing this Mandela protest song at his 70th Birthday Celebration. A constant spokeswoman for social change, Chapman's song speaks against a society that kills and destroys that which it doesn't understand. The most memorable verse from the track reads, "Soon must come the day/ When the righteous have their way/ Unjustly tried are free/And people live in peace I say/ Give the man release/ Go on and set your conscience free/ Right the wrongs you made/ Even a fool can have his day."
Masekela, a Grammy-nominated jazz musician from South Africa, recorded this track in 1987, and sings that he "wants to see him (Mandela) walking down the streets of South Africa tomorrow."