♫ Man In The Mirror ♫

Yesterday afternoon, I wrote a post about the atrocities the United States government is committing against innocent migrants on the southern border, particularly children.  This morning’s post was about one of the ways in which the United States government is accelerating the ravages of carbon emissions on our environment.  These are only two of the many ways in which our government has sidestepped responsibility and accountability for the survival of the human species, or human race, if you will.  With all this fresh in my mind, is it any wonder that tonight’s song is one of social conscience?

Say what you will about Michael Jackson … love him or hate him … he had a voice and he often used it to try to open our eyes to the social injustices he saw around him.

Released in January 1988, this song is about making a change and realizing that it has to start with you.  The song was written by Siedah Garrett and Glen Ballard; Garrett also sang backup on the track.  According to Garrett …

“The song was deeper than just the visual of a man looking at himself in the mirror. It was that, juxtaposed with the idea of a man going deeper inside himself to change from within. To make a difference on the outside, you have to first start from within. So I think that Michael just got it… he got the meaning of the song right away.”

The single sleeve for Man in the Mirror contains a dedication to Yoshiaki Ogiwara, a five-year-old boy from Takasaki, Gunma, Japan who was kidnapped and murdered in September 1987. Jackson was touring Japan at the time and dedicated concerts in Osaka and Yokohama to Yoshiaki’s memory.

Pay attention to the lyrics … think about what they say.  WE are the winds of change, but only if we choose to be.  I want to be that ‘man in the mirror’ … well, okay, perhaps that ‘woman in the mirror’.  Music should entertain … most often I think it should take us away from our troubles.  But sometimes, maybe music should prick our consciences, remind us of our duty to humanity, to ourselves.  Sometimes maybe it should open our eyes … our ears … our hearts.

Man in the Mirror
Michael Jackson

I’m gonna make a change,
For once I’m my life
It’s gonna feel real good,
Gonna make a difference
Gonna make it right

As I, turn up the collar on
My favorite winter coat
This wind is blowing my mind
I see the kids in the streets,
With not enough to eat
Who am I to be blind?
Pretending not to see their needs

A summer disregard, a broken bottle top
And a one man soul
They follow each other on the wind ya’ know
‘Cause they got nowhere to go
That’s why I want you to know

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
(If you want to make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)
(Na na na, na na na, na na, na nah)

I’ve been a victim of a selfish kind of love
It’s time that I realize
That there are some with no home, not a nickel to loan
Could it be really me, pretending that they’re not alone?

A willow deeply scarred, somebody’s broken heart
And a washed-out dream
(Washed-out dream)
They follow the pattern of the wind ya’ see
‘Cause they got no place to be
That’s why I’m starting with me
(Starting with me!)

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
(Ooh!)
I’m asking him to change his ways
(Ooh!)
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
(If you want to make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
(Ooh!)
I’m asking him to change his ways
(Change his ways, ooh!)
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make that
(Take a look at yourself and then make that)
Change!

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
(Man in the mirror, oh yeah!)
I’m asking him to change his ways
(Better change!)
No message could have been any clearer
(If you want to make the world a better place)

You can’t close your, your mind!
(Then you close your, mind!)
That man, that man, that man, that man
With the man in the mirror
(Man in the mirror, oh yeah!)
That man, that man, that man,
I’m asking him to change his ways
(Better change!)
You know, that man
No message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
(If you want to make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself and then make the change
(Take a look at yourself and then make the change)
Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!
Na na na, na na na, na na, na nah
(Ooh)
Oh no, no no

I’m gonna make a change
It’s gonna feel real good!
Come on!
(Change)
Just lift yourself
You know
You’ve got to stop it,
Yourself!
(Yeah! Make that change!)
I’ve got to make that change, today!
Hoo!
(Man in the mirror)
You got to
You got to not let yourself
Brother
Hoo!
(Yeah! Make that change!)
You know I’ve got to get
That man, that man

You’ve got to
You’ve got to move! Come on!
Come on!
You got to

Stand up! Stand up! Stand up!
(Yeah! Make that change)
Stand up and lift yourself, now!
(Man in the mirror)
Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!
Aw!
(Yeah! Make that change!)
Gonna make that change

Come on!
You know it!
You know it!
You know it!
You know it
(Change)
Make that change.

Songwriters: Glen Ballard / Siedah Garrett
Man in the Mirror lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management, Songtrust Ave

23 thoughts on “♫ Man In The Mirror ♫

    • You are the second person to mention Earth Song … I’m thinking I might have already played it a while back, but if I haven’t, then you’ll be seeing it soon. Glad you liked this one!

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  1. Michael made good music and wrote some good songs. He was a great crusader and no matter your thoughts on him personally no-one can deny that he was the perfect person to carry these messages because of his following.Without him less people would have a social conscience today. I like Man in the Mirror and it reminds me I still need to make changes but I love Earth Song and the fantastic video that went with that as a reminder of what we do to the planet.
    Cwtch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I fully agree. I don’t like some of the things he did in his personal life, but I think you can separate those from the music and the fact that he used his music to put forth important messages. Have I played Earth Song on here yet? I’ll have to look and see … thanks for the suggestion!
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

    • When I chose the song, I had no idea! Later that morning, I read that it was the 10th anniversary of his death. Pure coincidence, and I cannot take credit for finally getting a song out in a timely fashion 😉

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  2. Had he made a change in his “selfish kind of love” I might be able to give him some credit. It is the songwriters here who deserve all the credit, not the messenger who only delivered that message. This “messenger” I would still want to change.
    I wish they had given the song to someone more worthy of it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am not a fan of some of Jackson’s personal habits, but it is a two-sided coin, rather like Pete Rose. Yes, Rose was a despicable sort, but … should that take him out of the Hall of Fame, should it erase his baseball record? Jackson was despicable in many ways as a person, but he made some awesome music and used his fame for good, so should one strike out the other? Just my thoughts … there are no easy answers. A bee might sting, and if you are allergic, his sting might kill you, but does that negate the fact that he pollinated the crops to feed thousands?

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      • What happens in sports record books I could not care less. If baseball wants to think Pete Rose damaged their reputation, that is up to them. That Michael Jackson was a child molester is to be a monster. Rose never injured anyone that he was charged for. That Michael Jackson injured young children he should have been charged for, but wasn’t, doesn’t let him off the hook. I do not believe in evil, or lehalities as such, but intentionally hurting others for your own pleasure or gain is abominable. That is why I say I honour the message–the song lyrics–but I do not honour the messenger–the singer. If this was more than words to him, he would have changed his ways, as he promised in the song. He did not. He kept on intentionally injuring children.
        The bee in your comparison did not injure anyone intentionally beyond what her instinct had her do. There can be no comparison, not for me. What anyone else decides is up to them.

        Liked by 1 person

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