I have a simple Spotify account, you know the one that always asks you to “Join Premium” for family and friends…no ads, just music. I have refused to join, and thus…I am subject to the whims of random mixes that Spotify chooses. I happed into a 60’s mix that I listened to religiously. So much so, that AI quantified me as an African American woman who loves soul music. It is a running joke in my house that my Spotify is possessed by the likes of Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, Etta James, Duke Ellington, and more…and I love it.
After listening to my 60’s mix, I ventured to a 70’s mix of Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, and the Commodores. And then…there it was The O’jays “Love Train”. Wow, that brought back memories of watching Soul Train on a Saturday night with my parents as a treat…the great African American sounds that Neil Bogart, and countless others produced so seamlessly for our souls to enjoy.
I never really paid attention to the words other than the refrain of “People all over the world, Join the Love train…love train!” But, when you hear it 30 times as you walk the dog every morning at the crack of dawn, you actually pay attention to the lyrics.
People all over the world
Start a love train….
All of you brothers in Africa
Tell all the folks in Egypt, and Israel, too
Please don’t miss this train at the station
‘Cause if you miss it, I feel sorry, sorry for you.
Lyrics by Kenneth Gamble/Leon Huff, SONY ATV Music Plublishing LLC, Warner Chappel Music, Inc. Produced in 1972
This song was released in 1972, and reached Number One on the R&B Singles, and the HOT 100 in 1973. It was written at the time of the Vietnam War, when the world was reeling from the impact of the war upon the American soldiers, as well as troops from the world sent to fight the Communist regime. The song was written to sing a song about social justice.
Eddie Levert, one of the O’Jays singers said “the biggest problem is how to cope. You have to learn ….The timeless message of Love train is that if we pull together, we can make things better for everyone.” (Guardian interview by Dave Simpson, November 1, 2016, “The O’Jays how we made Love Train”.).
Here we are, in Israel, and throughout the world…reeling from the current war against Hamas. For those of us living in Israel, we ALL have sons, daughters, husbands, wives, uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces who have been called to serve the country of Israel in their army capacity. The troops are being called to train for the fight of their lives…the fight against an evil Hamas regime that had no shame in attacking innocent victims, taking hostages, and leaving horrid remains of their evil ways in their wake.
Those of us who have not been called to the front are finding ourselves heeding the call to massive drives of packaging food for soldiers at local bases. We are funding random collections for necessary army equipment. We are receiving shopping lists of soldiers filled with everyday items that they had forgotten when they speedily packed up to go to their bases. We are playing with our grandchildren who are living with us while their fathers or mothers are on the front. We are visiting the sick and elderly who still need our assistance. We are helping in hospitals and Nursing homes. We are giving food to the security guards at the entrances to our towns and cities. We are also checking on neighbors who are alone with countless children.
We are the LOVE TRAIN.
May Love be the strength we need to fight this war.