ARTS & LEISURE, HEALING, MSD STRONG — May 14, 2018 at 12:19 pm

Review: Grandson’s song “Thoughts and Prayers” depicts a chilling message on mass shootings


When alternative musician and rapper Jordan Benjamin, known as Grandson, heard of the tragedy that struck Parkland on Feb. 14, 2018, he knew there would be a great change made by the students of the community. Inspired by the students’ courage and determined to call out the faults of politicians, Grandson wrote “Thoughts and Prayers.”

Performing the song in collaboration with the West Los Angeles Children’s Choir, the song opens with their chant, “No thoughts, no prayers, can bring back what’s no longer there. The silent are damned. The body count is on your hands.”

Using the voices of the children to depict the voices of the students who have experienced gun violence, he creates a strong message towards politicians who deny the outcry of gun control and opt to offer their “thoughts and prayers” because of their underlying support of gun industries such as the NRA.

“Smile for the camera. Another politician bought. I swear I heard another shot,” Grandson said in his song.

He creates an accurate representation of the anger directed towards these politicians, as they continue to accept funds from the NRA while school shootings continue to happen. Because of their denial, the number of victims from these tragedies will continue to grow.

The impact of the song reaches its height when the children’s choir sing, “Turn off all the lights nobody make a sound. Ashes to ashes we all fall down. Are we out of time? Can we turn this all around? Are we out of time? Will we all fall.”

Grandson incorporates these chilling lines sung by the children to acknowledge the fears of students, emphasizing their cries of change through their emotions.

“I wanted a rallying cry — something I could say at the march, and I tripped and fell into a song,” Grandson said in an article made by billboard. “I juxtaposed the severity of the situation with an almost sing-song melody and incorporated the children.”

The single was released March 23 with almost a million views on Youtube and nearly 2 million streams on Spotify. Grandson and the choir also performed “Thoughts and Prayers” at the March For Our Lives event in Los Angeles.

Overall, the song is truly inspiring and succeeds in bringing forth a powerful message to take action. The poetic rapping and upbeat music easily captures the listener’s attention. It is amazing to hear Grandson being so passionate through his lyrics and accurately depict the emotions felt by those who have dealt with gun violence.

It is not meant to bring forth anger, but rather to face truths that are hidden behind the thoughts and prayers given by politicians who ignore the movement to put an end to tragedies like the one MSD experienced.

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Anna Dittman is a senior Editor and writer for the Douglas newspaper. In the future she would like to study in a field where she can be creative, hands on, and work with others. She is considering colleges such as FSU and Flagler College after she graduates. In her free time she enjoys exploring new places, drawing and reading.


  1. Politicians do not “deny the outcry of gun control.. because of their underlying support of gun industries such as the NRA.” Politicians have, in general, pushed for more gun control despite that the majority of American households own guns. They push for gun control despite the fact that legally owned firearms (the ones they are pushing to ban) in the hands of legal citizens are far more likely to be used to prevent a mass shooting than to cause one. They push for gun control despite the fact that every murderous dictator in the last hundred years has first removed firearms from the hands of its citizens (Hitler and Stalin, for example). Luckily there are a few politicians who have listened to the voice of the majority rather than those who would trade their freedom for safety, something that our forefathers warned us about.

    • Whatever drug you are taking Jonathan I would love some, cause you are taking something hardcore. “They push for gun control despite the fact that legally owned firearms (the ones they are pushing to ban) in the hands of legal citizens are far more likely to be used to prevent a mass shooting than to cause one.” oh, so where are all these great super heroes when the shootings happen? It’s a fact that most of the shooters get stopped by police not civilians so that is absurdly not true. To add to how insane your statement is 9.8/10 mass shootings are committed using LEGALLY acquired firearms. None of the points you made are even remotely true AND to top it all off, the last fact of removing firearms countries becoming dictatorships is a joke. All of Europe has strict gun laws and we have no problems of mass shootings and school shootings on a daily weekly or even monthly basis with exception of some terrorist attack we are perfect fine. ON TOP OF ALL THAT, most the legislation the politicians are trying to push through is not even to ban all gun ownership, it’s to have stricter background checks and to stop selling AR’s and Automatic Weapons, you are not in a warzone, a pistol is more than enough to defend yourself against an intruder, but stopping a pistol wielding mass shooter would be much more viable than someone with an AR. You are such a pathetic excuse for a person, OR very very nice and high.. Please start thinking before commenting on things.

  2. QuoVadisAnima

    The fact is that guns save significantly more lives than they take, but the mass murderers get all the attention.

    People like to point to European countries as if they don’t have mass killings because they disarm citizens, yet they still do – and things like driving cars into crowds are actually easier for the average person to do.

  3. Alrighty then

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