Yes We Can

“When inspiration calls, you don’t send it to voicemail.” – will.i.am

I introduced someone to will.i.am’s landmark song and video this morning. I’m proud to have been the one to share that campaign anthem and reflect on its significance in the election of our next president.

I shared the song and video because I heard will.i.am talk about what inspired him to compose the song and create the video on NPR’s Weekend Edition this morning. I nearly had an NPR ‘driveway moment’ but kept moving through the streets of Cambridge, as I had to return my Zipcar. will.i.am heard the speech Barack Obama made after he won 36% of the vote in the 2008 NH Presidential Primary and decided to do what he knew how to do to support Obama: put the candidate’s words to music, cut a video and get it distributed.

NPR has made the interview available at Will.I.Am: A Song To Inspire A Nation.

Wikipedia has a comprehensive encyclopedia entry for Yes We Can, which includes the estimate that the video (below) has a ‘combined web total of more than 26 million viewings.’

The full transcript of this speech is available at CNN.com.

Andres Useche also recorded “Si Se Puede Cambiar” (Yes we can change), which I’ve also embedded below:

Regardless of your ideological beliefs, this viral video demonstrated the power of eloquent rhetoric, stirring composition and, of course, the Internet.

According to NPR, will.i.am will join “countless other musicians in Washington, D.C., in an HBO-sponsored inauguration concert at the Lincoln Memorial. Each artist will perform songs related to the theme “We Are One.” The concert will be broadcast or streamed live online at 2 PM EST.

Yes, we did.

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