Merv Pinny: “OB (can you hear the children cry)” bemoaning the ills of the world
New Zealand rock composer and singer, Merv Pinny, has been playing music since he was 10. At 15 he left school to work on a farm during the day, and to play music at night. This led to him achieving a Top 20 single, plus nominations for ‘Best Country Rock Album’ at the New Zealand Music Awards and ‘Best Vocals’ at the Waikato Rock Awards, and a win at the Waikato Rock Awards, where his single “Destiny” was named ‘Best Rock Single of the Year’. Merv’s latest project takes his musical talent and uses it to address timely world issues, such as the effects of war, terrorism and refugee immigration on children.
“OB (can you hear the children cry)” is Merv Pinny’s latest single. Proceeds due to him from this release, will all go to selected charities dealing with children in crises. The song, which he wrote, performed and co-produced under his own label MMusic had its genesis in the international news reports of conflicts throughout the Middle East, and particularly those in Syria and Iran. Pinny said a number of the images on television shocked him to the extent that he had to give voice to his own feelings as both a father and as a human being.
As with all protest songs good words and fine sentiments are not enough. The music must move us, which is what “OB (can you hear the children cry)” with its overdriven riffs and insistent beat. It’s a song that doesn’t confine itself to commenting on or bemoaning the ills of the world, but seeks in some small way to change things.
It does this by calling directly for something to happen, by informing us, by appealing to our hearts and our emotions, and by challenging commonly held ideas – “I don’t want to be last man to speak / I don’t want to be last man to die / You get in your planes / Go zoom zoom zoom / You get in your tanks / go boom boom boom / Alacaboom Alacabang / Is that your plan.”
The song, which Merv wrote, performed and co-produced under his own label MMusic had its genesis in the international news reports of conflicts throughout the Middle East, and particularly those in Syria and Iran. So Merv decided to shock us, unsettle us, inspire us, make us angry, and even make us sad, which he achieves via the supporting video clip of the song which can be found on YouTube.
Antiwar music is not technically a genre, but pretty much any song from an artist or band where they express sentiment against nations warring with one another. The concept of antiwar music probably has its genesis in the 1960s, as rock and folk groups were decidedly against the Vietnam War and the involvement of the United States of America in the civil war of that Southeast Asia nation.
Antiwar songs of that day became part of the ‘greatest music ever made’ during the time of classic rock that wound up getting heavy repetition and airplay on radio stations still on the air. Most rock artists today seem to have almost forgotten the tasks their music needs to address besides all the regular tropes. Thank heavens artist like Merv Pinny still exist. Its artists like him that keeps the art of rocking noble!