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“What’s Going On?”

What’s going on? – A very relevant anniversary


Exactly 51 years ago, Marvin Gaye released the groundbreaking “What’s Going On?”. The single was an out-loud cry against the nonsense of war and immediately became an anthem for peace. By the time of this work’s fifty-first birthday, another senseless war is going on, and this song is as meaningful as it was back then. From My Sheet Music Transcriptions, we want to express our emphatic support for the claim of peace that this song represents.


Background and message

What’s Going On is not only an emblematic song but a renowned album recording. The narrative established by the songs is told from the point of view of a Vietnam veteran returning to his home country to witness hatred, suffering, and injustice. Gaye’s introspective lyrics explore themes of drug abuse, poverty, and war. Particularly how the nonsense of war creates a loop of violence and destruction in everyone’s lives when impacted by it. Gaye has even been credited with promoting awareness of environmental issues before the public outcry over them had become prominent.


Impact and consequences

Soul recordings weren’t known for sociopolitical thought – especially at Motown, where the goal was to avoid anything controversial so as to appeal to as many people as possible. But What’s Going On shattered those company-imposed barriers, not only making it safe for Motown and soul artists to speak their minds about any topic concerning them; but for those artists to take control back from the factory nature of the label’s record-making and determine their own artistic direction


Current Meaning

What’s going on is simply a Masterpiece. A marvel that keeps relevant and just plain wonderful to listen to at any time or age. It is deservedly an iconic staple of twentieth-century music.timeless piece of art that speaks to each and every generation. Let its message sink and move us.

“If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else.” ― Marvin Gaye


Stop the war!


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