God, I love hearing stories from the Women’s March protests on Saturday. Marches? How do we properly grammaticize what happened across the globe this weekend?
I’ve spent the last two days looking over my photos, your photos, which we LOVE that you are sending, those amazing aggregate photo essays from the New York Times, and anything else I can find. One of the things I commented on is that each march was so huge (YES! Yes, you guys!), you can only really focus in on what happened at yours—and even then, you only see a part of it—or on a few select photos from Boise or London or Austin or wherever, because it was so immersive.
In fact, even though we heard from Madonna, and Scarlett Johannsen, and Ashley Judd speaking the words of Nina Donovan, and America Ferrara, whose speech was so powerful and moving the calls for her to run for office began almost immediately, celebrities were overall rightfully low key. There was no real, universal voice for the movement; it was all of our voices. Which was kind of the point.
I saw this on Twitter Sunday morning, and noted the caption: these women never met until Saturday, and only practiced online. But you need to know that only after you listen to the power of this:
You obviously played it several times in a row, right? You listened to the different harmonies, then you forgot about them because oh my God, ‘A one-woman riot’, yes! Around about the second full chorus of Quiet is when you started crying uncontrollably, I assume. That’s when I can’t hold it together, every time.
When I finally tore myself away, I googled the song, thinking how perfect it was for an event like this, and how smart of these women to have chosen it to sing. I assumed it belonged to some indie pop singer-songwriter pop song I didn’t know. Which it does….sort of.
The woman in the middle, MILCK, is an LA-based singer songwriter (her song Devil Devil appeared in The Royals, Lucifer, and Pretty Little Liars) wrote the song and released it in advance of the march. You know why. You don’t need me to explain why those words resonate.
But the choir was convened online, rehearsed online, MILCK wrote the arrangements herself, and decided to ‘trust people’ that it would work. Which is kind of an understatement. The song has an official video, but I would wager any money that the choir version, the one that shows how one woman’s words resonate for so many, is going to become the “official” version—the voice of the resistance. The Washington DC video has been retweeted almost 64,000 times, including by Emma Watson, Debra Messing, Denis Leary, and probably a million others while I’ve been typing this. As my friend Lara sagely noted, “They’ll probably be on Ellen by Tuesday”, but I would say that’s just the beginning. Producers will be falling over themselves to book these guys, which is only amazing.
In the words of another songwriter I have been known to enjoy, “This is not a moment. It’s the movement.” If you, like me, are most motivated by choir passions, you can download the choir parts, and share stories of not keeping quiet here. Like all overnight success, it’s clear there’s years of work behind MILCK and her music—but it’s still rare that you get to watch the moment when someone turns into a star.