Days after the shooting at the Orlando gay nightclub Pulse, which left 49 dead and 53 wounded, LGBT advocate and singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge has released a song dedicated to the victims of the massacre.
Titled “Pulse,” Etheridge wrote the song on Sunday, the same day the attack occurred, while making a stop in New York City during her current tour.
“I found myself roaming around my apartment,” Etheridge said in an interview with The Advocate; she was inspired to write the song about the biggest mass shooting in American history—and one directed specifically at the LGBT and Latinx communities—while staring at the Freedom Tower.
“I knew that would make me feel better, and I just started writing,”she added.
While The Advocate noted that Etheridge had planned to include other mass shootings that resembled the resonance of Orlando in the song, she decided against it, opting for a microsmic-macrocosmic effect—or rather, finding universality in a singular experience:
“I get so moved by so many things, not just the sadness of tragedy. I also get moved by how we react. Unfortunately, it takes a hideous event like this, but sometimes it brings people together and moves others who might have been like, ‘That gay thing is not anything I’m concerned about.’ It moves them and they think, I have to stand on the side of love and peace.”
The opening lines of the song serve as a testament to this, especially with the inclusion (and ensuing double-meaning) of the word “pulse,” which is both a nod to the human condition and specific to the the name of the establishment where the massacre took place.
“Everybody’s got a pain inside/ Imaginary wounds they fight to hide/ How can I hate them, when everybody’s got a pulse?”
“There’s just something very poetic and very meaningful about the name,” she told Rolling Stone. “You just start thinking about your own pulse. It’s the way I’ve always felt about the gay movement, the gay issue. Here we are–people who are loving; we are fighting for who we want to love.”
Etheridge says that all proceeds made from the song, will be available for purchase in the new future, will be donated to an as-of-now undisclosed LGBT nonprofit.
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