Saturday, February 2, 2008

The "Yes, We Can" song



It's meant for people younger than I am. I recognize only a handful of those involved: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Herbie Hancock, Scarlett Johansson. But it brings tears to my eyes anyway.

If anyone can identify other participants (in a comment), I'd be grateful here in Squaresville.

Related reading
More Barack Obama posts

[Update: Here's a story, with at least some names: New Celeb-Filled Music Video for Obama (ABC News). I think I recognize Moby and Usher, not named in the ABC piece. Am I right?]

[Update, 2.5.07: I'm grateful to everyone who named names in the comments. Wikipedia now has an article that lists the participants, though not in sequence: Yes We Can.]

comments: 9

Sara said...

Hi Michael,

The first guy in the hat is will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas. John Legend is the guy who first really sings the words. He's wearing a watch. I thought the lady with the headband was Tatyana Ali, but I could be wrong about that... and is that Nicole Scherzinger with the long dark hair?

And, maybe, Aisha Tyler is in there too? Your guess is as good as mine.


The speech and the song remind me of something Hamilton and Madison were arguing for in The Federalist Papers. Madison writes, "It is too early for politicians to presume on our forgetting that the public good, the real welfare of the great body of the people, is the supreme object to be pursued; and that no form of government whatever has any other value than as it may be fitted for the attainment of this object. Were the plan of the convention adverse to the public happiness, my voice would be, Reject the plan. Were the Union itself inconsistent with the public happiness, it would be, Abolish the Union. In like manner, as far as the sovereignty of the States cannot be reconciled to the happiness of the people, the voice of every good citizen must be, Let the former be sacrificed to the latter. How far the sacrifice is necessary, has been shown. How far the unsacrificed residue will be endangered, is the question before us."


Yes, we can!

Michael Leddy said...

Thank you, Sara! (And Founding Fathers.)

I guess that wasn't Usher after all. Probably not Moby either.

Matt said...

Rapper Common appears a few times. Didn't see Moby or Usher though.

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks, Matt — that's Common with Obama and Jabbar about 24 seconds in, yes?

I'm leaving my Moby and Usher guesses in the post — I'm not gonna hide my cluelessness. But if you show me, say, this photo, I can name everyone (except the kids on the curb). : )

Mama 4 Obama said...

Kate Walsh (Private Practice/Greys Anatomy), Nick Cannon, Harold Perinneau (Lost), that is Tatyana Ali singing as well. That is all I got!

Michael Leddy said...

Thank you! That's Harold Perrineau at 0:49 -- I still think of him as the teenager in Smoke (1995).

Anonymous said...

Here's who I saw:

Scarlett Johansson, Kate Walsh, Nick Cannon, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, John Legend, Eric Balfour, Adam Rodriguez (CSI: Miami), Kelly Hu, Herbie Hancock. Enrique Murciano (Without A Trace), Nicole Scherzinger, Common, Harold Perrineau (Lost), Johnathon Schaech, Maya Rubin, Tracee Ellis Ross (Girlfriends), Bryan Greenberg (October Road), Austin Nicohls and Tatyana Ali (Fresh Prince of Bel Air) and Alfonso Ribeiro.

PuzzleGirl said...

The young woman speaking in sign language is Shoshanna Stern. I recognized her from "Weeds." I also recognized Samuel Page from "Shark." And, yes, Aisha Tyler is in there.

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks, everyone, for naming names. There's now a Wikipedia article on the song with a full list: Yes We Can.