Barbra Streisand on getting political: ‘Truth has always worked for me’
MANILA, Philippines – Barbra Streisand’s new album Walls was released on November 2, and in it the iconic singer takes on a more political bent. She sings about her views in an America run by Donald Trump.
For instance, in “Don’t Lie to Me,” the singer addresses the United States president, singing:
You change the facts to justify
Your lips move but your words get in the way
She continues in the chorus:
How do you sleep when the world keeps turning?
All that we built has come undone
How do you sleep when the world is burning?
Everyone answers to someone
In the album’s title track, “Walls,” she criticizes Trump’s proposed wall along the US-Mexico border, and in a more metaphoric sense, the walls that people have built around themselves in these highly-divisive times:
Brick by brick they built them but it seems to me
Brick by brick they build them where they shouldn't be
In an interview with the New York Times, Streisand said she was inspired to get political in her album after she “would lie awake at night with Trump’s outrages running through my head.”
“I had to do another album for Columbia Records, so, I thought, why not make an album about what’s on my mind?” she said.
When asked if artists have an obligation to be political, Streisand said that it is important for her to have artistic control, meaning “no one could tell me what to sing or what to name my album or even what the cover looks like.”
At the same time, she said, “Truth has always worked for me, so to see the truth defiled every day is very, very painful for me.”
She added, “I only can do what I can do. I probably will turn a lot of people off.... I can only be true to me as an artist and if people like it that’s great, and if they don’t, they don’t have to buy it or listen to it. But me in real life is more important than me as the artist. As a citizen, that’s the role.”
Streisand, who in the past kept her politics separate from her art, has nevertheless been politically outspoken, particularly against Trump's “the worst presidency in history.”
Trump is so delusional he thinks Google has to rig its search engine to find negative stories about him. He’d sooner quash free speech than accept reality; this is the worst presidency in history. https://t.co/8vEs1GS1rQ— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) September 8, 2018
Streisand is an award-winning singer, songwriter, and actress. In 1977, she became the first woman to win an Oscar for composing music, bagging the award for the song "Evergreen," the love theme from the film A Star is Born in which she also starred. She also has also won 8 Grammy Awards, both for her songwriting and vocal performances. – Rappler.com