Martin Bashir interviews Michael Jackson in 2002
Michael Jackson fans will no doubt remember Earth Song, the third single from his 1995 album HIStory. The track received a Grammy nomination in 1997, and even reached number one in Germany, Iceland, Scotland, Spain, and Sweden. It also went on to become the Christmas number one in the UK in 1995. However the story behind the song is a little more hard-hitting than it may seem.
Earth Song’s music video saw the King of Pop stood in burning forests, and beside dead endangered species.
The political nature of the track was no mystery to its listeners, but the origin of the song’s writing came from a place of “pain” in Jackson.
Speaking out about the song’s writing years later, he explained when and where he wrote the lyrics for the music.
Jackson said: “I remember writing Earth Song when I was in Austria, in a hotel.”
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He went on to reveal how horrible he was feeling at the time.
Jackson said: “I was feeling so much pain and so much suffering of the plight of the planet Earth.
“And for me, this is Earth’s Song, because I think nature is trying so hard to compensate for man’s mismanagement of the Earth.”
Jackson added that the song also includes some joy as well, praising the planet.
The Thriller star continued: “With the ecological unbalance going on, and a lot of the problems in the environment, I think earth feels the pain, and she has wounds, and it’s about some of the joys of the planet as well.
“But this is my chance to pretty much let people hear the voice of the planet. And this is Earth Song.
“And that’s what inspired it. And it just suddenly dropped into my lap when I was on tour in Austria.”
Jackson’s Earth Song was sung in tribute to him shortly after his death in 2010. The Grammy Awards ceremony saw the likes of Carrie Underwood, Celine Dion, and Usher singing it to the crowd.
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Jackson found inspiration for his music in a number of ways – including the most legendary band of all time: The Beatles.
A clip of Jackson singing one of John Lennon’s songs was released online, showcasing the star singing Dig It from their 1970 album Let It Be.
He sang: “Like a rolling stone, like the FBI, you hear that? Like the CIA, like the BBC.”
Upon being questioned about the track, Jackson said: “It’s John Lennon. They call it Can You Dig It.”
He explained: “It’s a little short piece, like a transitional thing. He’s just screaming out stuff.
“I’m telling you, what would be neat for you to do sometime is hook up your electric guitar or whatever, and just start playing, and get me a mic, and [create] out of the moment, which would be really fun.”
Jackson added: “A lot of magic can be created out of the moment like that.”
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