Pink's 'What About Us' hits different when it's being sung by children
The lyrics of the political protest song take on a whole new meaning in this tear-jerking cover.
When Pink released "What About Us" in 2017, the U.S. was at one of its most intense political moments. Donald Trump had been inaugurated as president of the United States, the Women's March swept cities throughout the world, the infamous Charlottesville neo-Nazi rally happened, the Las Vegas mass shooting happened and tensions within the country were high.
Pink told Vulture that the day she wrote the song was "just another day I was angry about what's happening in the world." But the song doesn't have an angry feel—it's a ballad, but not quite. It's a protest song giving voice to the world's marginalized people, but it plays like a heartbreak song.
"I think it’s a beautiful song," Pink shared. "It feels good in my body, number one. And it says everything I needed to say."
When you listen to the lyrics as an adult posing a plea to the powers that be, it's powerful. But when you hear it being sung by children as an anthem to the adults of the world, it's a whole different animal.
Under the direction of the choir's founder and director, Masa Fukuda, the children sing lines like "What about us? What about all the times you said you had the answers?" and "What about us? What about all the broken happy ever afters?"
Oof. Every line of the song hits different when it's sung by kids. It conjures up the hard emotions we feel when the latest mass shooting happens in a school, when we see children paying the price of adult wars, when kids who go to school hungry are denied lunch because their parents can't afford it. It reminds us of all the ways adults have failed to protect children.
Watch and see how the lyrics sound when kids sing them.
People have been moved by the performance.
One commenter quoted Fred Rogers: “Listen to the children, learn about them, learn from them. Think of the children first.”
"A cry from the defenseless, begging the rest of us not to forget them. Real touching. When I feel lonely and sad, I listen to OVCC because I know they’ll cheer me up every time. And they do. God bless you guys. Keep it up. Thank you," wrote another.
"This is just...wow. I mean, this song is already so intense. I didn't think anything could surpass the original version of it, and yet...I mean, there's so much. They're children, so it makes the whole song even more poignant, and also their voices, such beautiful voices. Makes one want to cry, and scream and just...yeah," shared another.
People throughout the comments described the goosebumps and tears the video prompted, not only from the message of the song but from the impressive performance of the kids. Their singing talents and the emotion they poured into it made the song even more impactful. Absolutely beautifully done.
You can see more from the One Voice Children's Choir here.