Sly and the Family Stone – Everyday People

This brief, simple 1968 song was the first No. 1 hit for musician Sly Stone. The message of the song is that we’re all the same, no matter color of skin, and “what we do,” such as our occupations. The equality tale is punctuated by the mixed race membership in the band, that all sing the chorus so wonderfully, “I am everyday people.” It’s an anthem for equality.

The racism that is rejected remains a catchy, still-relevant reminder of the importance of being color blind. Yet, going for a stretch, Everyday People could be interpreted as a song about moral relativism and even mediocrity, too.

Leaving race aside, if we’re all the same no matter what we do, can we judge as a society any behaviour deemed abhorrent? Or does “different strokes for different folks” mean we must even accept the activities of others that may infringe upon our personal freedoms or at least, moral convictions?

As for mediocrity, we are all “everyday people” with no ability or right to lead or at least set an example. Who shall we turn to, when times are challenging? Sly Stone himself, after all, has been homeless for several years.


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