This song was co-written by Mermans Mosengo and my brother, Greg Johnson, a few years ago while we were on tour with the PFC Band.
The simple message and anthemic chorus made me really excited to record it as a PFC Song Around The World.
We started under the hot African sun in the village of Lukala in the Congo and we added musicians wherever we traveled for the past few years until we finally added the final piece with Grandpa Elliott playing the harmonica solo in New Orleans.
Someday we’ll all be free, until then, music is our ammunition.
Playing For Change was born in 2002 as a shared vision between co-founders, Mark Johnson and Whitney Kroenke, to hit the streets of America with a mobile recording studio and cameras in search of inspiration and the heartbeat of the people. Producers Mark Johnson and Enzo Buono, traveled around the world to places including New Orleans, Barcelona, South Africa, India, Nepal, the Middle East and Ireland.
In 2005, Mark Johnson was walking in Santa Monica, California, when he heard the voice of Roger Ridley (now deceased) singing “Stand By Me.” Roger had so much soul and conviction in his voice, and Mark approached him about performing “Stand By Me” as a Song Around The World. Roger agreed, and when Mark returned with recording equipment and cameras he asked Roger, “With a voice like yours, why are you singing on the streets?” Roger replied, “Man I’m in the Joy business, I come out to be with the people.”
Ever since that day, the Playing For Change crew has traveled the world recording and filming musicians, creating Songs Around The World, and building a global family.
Creating Songs Around The World inspired the PFC crew to unite many of the greatest musicians they met throughout their journey through the creation of the Playing For Change Band. These musicians come from many different countries and cultures, but through music they speak the same language. The PFC Band is now touring the world and spreading the message of love and hope to audiences everywhere.
~~Words of Wonder/Get up Stand up | Playing For Change~~
We present to you all a new PFC Song Around The World featuring Keith Richards in collaboration with Roberto Luti, Titi Tsira and a number of worldwide musicians on a rendition of his reggae song, “Words of Wonder,” off 1992’s Main Offender.
This video also leads into a cover of Bob Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up,” featuring Keb’ Mo’, Mermans Mosengo, Aztec Indians, Natalie Pa’apa’a of Blue King Brown, and Jamaican singer Sherita Lewis.