Jack Grisham has never been accused of keeping quiet about things that matter to him. The state of the world due to our political environment is at the forefront of Grisham’s thoughts these days. With that sentiment in mind, legendary punk band T.S.O.L just released this an inspiring parody of the American classic “What a Wonderful World”. Swapping break neck punk passion for somber crooning, the band’s new track titled “Is This a Wonderful World?” is one of the band’s most politically-charged songs in recent memory.
The song (originally written by Bob Thiele aka “George Douglas” and George David Weiss) is a very eloquently composed and orchestrated song with a string background that would have made Louis Armstrong smile. Grisham is at the top of his game with a soulful delivery of lyrics that let you know what he thinks, and what many have been thinking. In the end, it’s a song within a song that pokes fun at the world back then in contrast to where we are today. The song gives parody a new meaning as the lyrics actually make you think in a manner Armstrong never intended.
Grisham explains how the parody of this Armstrong classic came about. “It started as a lark, really. A friend asked if we could do a quick cover of ‘What a Wonderful World. As we launched in, the words sat uncomfortable on my tongue,” Grisham says. “Louis sang about hope amidst the turmoil and I realized that hope had left the building.”
According to Grisham, there’s a lot going these days that’s not OK. The way America treats our homeless is shameful; the way our liberties are being eroded is shameful; and the quasi-acceptance by a certain political party to gaslight America is what’s most fucking shameful of all. “We all need to step up and speak up!” Grisham says. “It’s one thing to talk about how fucked up things are, it’s another thing to do something about it.” In a very punk rock way, T.S.O.L. (which stands for True Sounds of Liberty) has put their money where their mouth is. Normally, for punk enthusiast that means churning out heart pumping, blood boiling and bone crushing tunes. This time, it’s all about sincere words for your heart, mind and soul.
In keeping with the messaging behind their “parody” of “What A Wonderful World,” T.S.O.L. will be giving “Is This A Wonderful World?” away for free! Only T.S.O.L. can walk the line and remind us that music doesn’t have to be for sale to belong to us.