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‘WE ARE NOT OK’ Bo Snerdley is blown away by gut-wrenching Five for Fighting song, raw video


Singer-songwriter John Ondrasik’s gripping new song and video about the October 7th Hamas attacks in Israel do not convey a political message, but a “moral one.”

The performer, known as the Grammy-nominated, Five For Fighting, spoke on “Bo Snerdley’s Rush Hour” about the powerful single and music video release for “OK,” a song that host James Golden, aka “Bo Snerdley,” described simply as “chilling” and “gut-wrenching.”

Ondrasik explained that like countless others, the “unimaginable horrors” witnessed in images from the terrorist attack on Israel in October were one part of what moved him to pen the song. He added that it was also the “aftermath” in the weeks and months that followed, including the “collapse of our institutions” like the media, “elite” college campuses, and even Congress, that moved him to write.

The artist explained how these unfolding cultural reactions to the atrocities perpetrated by Hamas fueled his passion to express himself, describing how a speech by New York City Mayor Eric Adams drove home the point that we are not alright.

“’OK’ is not a political message, but a moral one. A call to action,”  Ondrasik said in a statement at the release of the single.

The songwriter who penned the hits “Superman” and “100 Years,” previously captured hearts with his riveting songs, “Blood On My Hands”, about the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan; and “Can One Man Save The World?” in support of Ukraine.

“The final image of the ‘OK’ music video is Martin Luther King and his historic call to every man and woman on this earth: ‘He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.’ Thankfully, as happens in the darkest of times, there are heroes in our midst,” Ondrasik’s statement continues. “Some are in this video, several have names that we know, others will never be known.”

The video offers a searing visual to accompany the haunting lyrics and melody, with footage of Hamas terrorists kidnapping and attacking Israeli hostages as well as clips from antisemitic pro-Hamas rallies around the world. Even US Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) evading reporters is highlighted as well as the heads of Ivy League universities who appeared before Congress.

The State of Israel and the Israeli Foreign Minister both shared the video on social media.

Ondrasik sings “evil’s on the march” in the song that opens with the words of Mayor Adams.

“This is a time for choosing/ this is a time to mourn/ the moral man is losing/ forbidden, lost, forlorn,” the song begins.

“I don’t understand, I don’t understand, how you can look yourself in the mirror,” the song continues. “We. We are. We are not. We. We are not. We are not OK.”

In his interview with Mr. Snerdley, who remarked that the artist could just “sit out” commenting on the latest cultural emergency because of his past successes, Ondrasik admitted he gets “no joy” in writing the pieces.

“Your music is showing a deeper side of your own consciousness,” Snerdley noted.

“I get kind of annoyed when celebrities get on their soapbox and lecture to us about politics or world events,” the singer said, but pointed to how songwriters have “an obligation or a need to speak to the issues of the day.”

He said the one question he is repeatedly asked about his latest song is “Where is everybody else?”

He called out the artists and celebrities who are remaining silent in the face of the Hamas atrocities, acknowledging that he understands their fears of speaking out but noting that standing by silently echoes the culture that led to the Holocaust.

“It’s really a disgrace and a shame to this generation of artists, especially those of my generation who know better,” he added.

Snerdley once again applauded Ondrasik for pulling the “raw” and “chilling” song and video out of himself, admitting that he would rather refer to the music video as a “short movie.”

The video does end on a more hopeful note as clips show a hostage being reunited with family and others stepping in to help.

“The music and the art are what sinks into the consciousness of a people,” Snerdley said, emphasizing the importance of having artists speak up.

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