This was the hardest decision. I know I’ve already made that statement about Stevie Wonder, who I love, but this was even harder with Donny Hathaway. Why? Because I love Donny Hathaway. I really love Donny Hathaway. I really really (insert expletive that would act as an adjective) love Donny Hathaway. I love Donny Hathaway so much that at one point I thought about making this whole blog post dedicated to Donny Hathaway and instead of picking five pieces just picking my five favorite songs of his. Nonetheless, I wanted this post to be diverse so I decided to only put in one song. Picking the best Donny Hathaway song is like asking someone to pick their favorite child; it is just not an answerable question. I chose this song because of its (unfortunate) message and the fact that it still resonates today despite being written in 1977. The song speaks about being a black man in America, and the power that love has to triumph hate. It talks about the importance of holding yourself strong in the face of adversity. Just take the lyric:
Keep your self respect, your manly pride
Get yourself in gear
Keep your stride
Never mind your fears
Brighter days will soon be here
Donny Hathaway simply put is one of the greatest soul singers of all time. Though he tragically left us far too early in 1979, his voice carries on and lives with us forever. Though this post is only about one song, I have to say that the truth is that almost every single of songs is this good. If I had to recommend, I would say listen to his entire discography if you can (its worth it), but the songs “For All We Know”, “Song For You”, and “Where is The Love (feat. Roberta Flack)” are particularly good. On a separate note, his daughter Lalah Hathaway is a pretty amazing singer too.