Happy pride month, honey bees! As the end of June approaches, we pause to reflect on another pride month, a yearly milestone in the fight for love, justice, and equality. We love and stand with every LGBTQIA+ member of our THP family, from our queer writers, editors, and readers, to friends we just haven’t met yet. While we loved bringing you our pride playlists along with news on our favorite queer artists and movies, we know that celebrating pride also means recognizing those who afforded us that ability, such as Marsha P. Johnson.
Marsha P. Johnson, along with so many other brave, angry, and beautiful trans women of color, stood up at Stonewall and changed LGBTQIA+ history forevermore. And as we celebrate Pride together during another challenging year, in a sea of rainbows, music, and love, we’re reminded of those that came before us. Today, we’re checking out a stunning musical ode to the one who paved the way, with Irish Singer/Songwriter Sammy Copley and his newest release ‘Marsha.’
Sammy Copley, a 20-year-old Dublin-based artist, has delivered a truly stunning piano ballad ‘Marsha,’ which opens up about his own queer identity for the first time through his gratitude for Marsha P. Johnson. “A journey so personal that it felt particularly hard to capture in song,” said Sammy.
Marsha, named after icon Marsha P. Johnson, is a song that explores the tumultuous mixture of anger and gratitude that comes from honouring the legacy of the trans women of colour that paved the way for LGBTQ+ rights without ever being afforded them themselves. It captures the feeling of bittersweet gratitude for the work and life of Marsha P.
Get streaming ‘Marsha’ from Sammy Copley right here, and let’s talk about this stunning musical artwork. First things first, oh my goodness, that string section! Please. You can’t just drop such breath-taking strings and then bounce Sammy. We are absolutely soft for these instrumentals and the way they pull on our heartstrings (Get it? Strings? Yeah, ok, we’ll leave.) Nathan Cox produced the track, so we feel like we should send Nathan a box of chocolates just for the instrumental arrangement. The open and crisp melody instantly transports us to the opening piano bars of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine,’ which we feel is a fitting vibe to this thought-provoking and reflective song. The music is pristinely matched to Sammy’s poetic vocals throughout. We had goosebumps on our knees, and that’s before we’ve even touched on the lyrics:
“Why should I be rewarded, for work done long before me? I am reaping what was sown before my time/ And god does it feel sordid, this love I have afforded/ You broke your back so I could straighten mine.”
Marking Many Firsts For Sammy
Sammy’s first musical narrative of his identity, ‘Marsha’ is also his first release since signing with Tinpot Records, a London-based independent label headed by fellow singer/songwriter Tom Rosenthal. At the start of the year, before this signing, Sammy, who has grown a whopping following of almost 250,000, self-released his incredible debut album Growing Pains. The album explored the narratives he and his friends wish they could have with their younger selves.
Some of our favorite songs from Growing Pains include ‘Turtles All The Way Down’ and ‘Murder Song,’ but realistically, the entire thing is a no skip album anyway! You can stream Growing Pains right here!
We are in love with Sammy Copley’s ‘Marsha,’ and everything it means to us, to Sammy, and the entire queer universe. Are you loving it too? Do your knees have string ensemble-induced goosebumps? These are the things we need to know! Come and hit us up on Twitter @TheHoneyPOP, visit us on Facebook, or come hang out on our Instagram!
Want to celebrate more LGBTQIA+ artists with us? We’ve got the buzz!
Featured Image Source: Em Ormonde via Tinpot Records