Simply Michael Jackson

mrx.mn/mjfela

Atop a hypnotic music bed mashed from both tunes—with a particularly effective use of the horns from Fela’s “I No Get Eye…” as a refrain—Jackson floats his gentle yet insistent probes about human nature: “Why, why…do they do me that way?” But the probing takes on a more disturbing context when mashed up. For not only is Fela’s “I No Get Eye For Back” a metaphoric lament about betrayal, it also evolved from a lyric in another Fela tune, “Alagabon Close,” which targeted the police at the notorious Alagabon station after Fela was detained there. In Fela’s representation, the police there delighted in brutality and dehumanization. An with those narratives now floating in the stew—betrayal, brutality—Jackson’s musings as to the nature of humanity take on an entirely new, and unsettling, context.

Michael Jackson - "Human Nature"

Looking out
Across the night-time
The city winks a sleepless eye
Hear her voice
Shake my window
Sweet seducing sighs

Get me out
Into the night-time
Four walls won't hold me tonight
If this town
Is just an apple
Then let me take a bite

Chorus
If they say -
Why, why, tell 'em that is human nature
Why, why, does he do me that way
If they say -
Why, why, tell 'em that is human nature
Why, why, does he do me that way

Reaching out
To touch a stranger
Electric eyes are everywhere
See that girl
She knows I'm watching
She likes the way I stare

If they say -
Why, why, tell 'em that is human nature
Why, why, does he do me that way
If they say -
Why, why, tell 'em that is human nature
Why, why, does he do me that way
I like livin' this way
I like lovin' this way

(instrumental section)

Looking out
Across the morning
The city's heart begins to beat
Reaching out
I touch her shoulder
I'm dreaming of the street

Chorus
If they say -
Why, why, tell 'em that is human nature
Why, why, does he do me that way
If they say -
Why, why, tell 'em that is human nature
Why, why, does he do me that way
I like livin' this way

(Repeat Chorus - Ad-lib/fade-out)

Fela Kuti - "I no Get Eye For Back"

j vimeo.com/14406441

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