Creative Team Building and Leadership Resources - In our Elements

Micki Steele’s Jangling Freedom

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

This week’s Free Ride* muses on the lyrics of Michael Steele (aka Micki, not to be confused with the chair of the Republican National Committee). This bassist, vocalist and songwriter for various jangle pop groups from the 70s to the 90s, turns 57 today. She started out with Joan Jett in a teen girl group, The Runaways, then joined the Bangles, another all-girl group, in the 80s, and when they broke up she joined Crash Wisdom. For her contributions to the songbook of freedom, we can first take an example from the Bangles, I’ll Set You Free, written by the group’s guitarist, Susanna Hoffs, speaking of the difficulty in moving on and letting someone go after a broken relationship:

I remember eyes that shine
As they looked so hard
Back into mine
Now it’s just a memory
So I’ll set you free
I remember words that fell
Like coins into a wishing well
It was never meant to be
So I’ll set you free
I’ll set you free

For a folkier sound and edgier lyric, we can turn to the unreleased song, Bird of Prey, written by Steele for the 90s group, Crash Wisdom. Here, she is contemplating death as a predator coming to take her away, and wondering if this bird of prey will bring her freedom:

Predator with an angel smile
I hear you call my name
I hear you speak when I’m alone
Promises you are whispering

Every hour of my days on earth
Help me find my way
I’ve made a prison
of this earthly place
Help me I’m so afraid

Now have you come for me?
Will I be free?
Arise in your embrace
Strike like a bird of prey
No fear, no pain
In a finer state of grace

I hope we’ll have many more years of music from Michael Steele before this bird of prey ever comes and offers her that final freedom.


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