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Ricky Martin Gets Subversive With Song Lyrics At Moroccan Concert: VIDEO


Ricky Martin took advantage of a situation and crafted an inspired, brave moment while performing at the Mawazine World Rhythms Festival in Morocco last week. Altering the lyrics of a popular love song from "she" to "he," Martin took a stand for gay rights in a country where one can be imprisoned for homosexuality.

Think Progress reports:

“It’s the way he makes me feel/ It’s the only thing that’s real,” the singer croons, in a video that’s posted online. “It’s the way he understands / He’s my lover, he’s my friend / When I look into his eyes it’s the way I feel inside / Like the man I want to be / He’s all I ever need.”

Under article 489 in Morocco’s penal code, being gay is a crime punishable by imprisonment. While there is something of a gay community in the country,arrests do happen. Just a month ago, six men there were jailed for being gay.

Way to go, Ricky!

Check out the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. The sad thing is he won't be arrested, just as Lady Gaga was not arrested in Russia for "gay propaganda". If they were arrested, it would cause a diplomatic storm. Only common people will bear the blunts of these laws. It is still a brave move.

    Posted by: simon | Jun 15, 2014 12:44:29 PM

  2. He was probably the most famous singer in the world, gay or straight, in the 90's with the World Cup "go go go" song.

    Posted by: simon | Jun 15, 2014 12:58:55 PM

  3. It is funny that even George Bush imitated his moves in his inauguration ceremony.

    Posted by: simon | Jun 15, 2014 1:01:56 PM

  4. And yet, there is a centuries-old tradition of male poets and writers addressing love poetry and prose to other males in Arabic literature, indeed to the extent that it was the norm - as in mainstream - in some genres, so I am not so sure that this would be quite so daring or shocking to the audience after all. Much of the finest Arabic poetry is in this vein.

    Which is not to say that the modern world equals the classical or that Ricky Martin didn't make a brave statement, but nevertheless.....

    "In poetry, traditionally considered the supreme art among the Arabs, love lyrics by male poets about males were almost as popular as those about females, and in certain times and places even more popular. But in prose literature as well, including such varied genres as anecdotal collections, vignettes in rhymed prose known as maqamat, shadowplays, and explicit erotica, homoerotic themes, mostly male but also female, are anything but rare.

    Even though homosexual behavior is condemned in the strongest terms by Islamic law, a position reiterated by numerous legal and pietistic works devoted to the subject, homoerotic love generally appears in poetry and belles lettres as a phenomenon every bit as natural as heteroerotic love and subject to the same range of treatments, from humorous to passionate."

    Posted by: edude | Jun 15, 2014 1:02:24 PM

  5. Odd... back in the day I always thought he was gay and interpreted "She's All I Ever Had" to be about an imaginary perfect "beard."

    Posted by: fanboi | Jun 15, 2014 1:21:54 PM

  6. edude:
    I don't know much about Arabic literature. Most people were illiterate in those times.
    And there was no internet. Those writers could afford to be subversive. I also doubt how many people in that audience understand the words of his song.

    Posted by: simon | Jun 15, 2014 1:23:25 PM

  7. He actually went back and forth in the song between "she" and "he', like he couldn't make up his mind

    Posted by: Pandion | Jun 15, 2014 2:09:00 PM

  8. I am glad he did it.

    Posted by: Matt27 | Jun 15, 2014 2:31:39 PM

  9. I can't get the video to play properly at all. As soon as he makes an appearance the audio drops out, and a few seconds later it stops playing.

    Posted by: Merv | Jun 15, 2014 2:41:18 PM

  10. Excellent EDUDE!

    Was not even FitzGerald's the Rubáiyát that we attribute to the Persian poet Omar Khayyám specifically referring to two gays when it says:

    "A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou
    Beside me singing in the Wilderness—
    Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!"

    Had a prof and close friend in college who was certain of it. So much for straight people who become enraptured with the play "Ah, Wilderness!" by Eugene O'Neill and think that all sexual awakening is SOLELY for them.

    Posted by: Mike | Jun 15, 2014 2:44:23 PM

  11. Well, everybody knows that it's quite easy to have gay sex in Morocco.
    That's not a problem, the problem is wanting to live your life like a gay man

    Posted by: jjose712 | Jun 15, 2014 2:52:53 PM

  12. Uh, "Enow" (Archaic) = enough

    Posted by: Mike | Jun 15, 2014 2:59:28 PM

  13. SIMON - Well, there is an internet now, so it's not hard to find out that poetry was (and still is to a large extent) the pre-eminent art form to the Arabs.

    It's roughly fair to say that classical Arabic poetry is to modern Arabs (and was to ancient Arabs) what Shakespeare, Chaucer and the like are to English speakers, but actually in many ways it was/is more.

    Poetry was held in such high regard that pre-Islamic poetry was even hung on banners around the Kaaba, Islam's holiest site.

    Back then, when "most people were illiterate" poetry was an ORAL tradition, and poets held a special place in society. No TV, no books, no radio, no film, no internet (as you observed), so entertainment was poetry, story-telling and so on. Poetry competitions were common.
    Even books were in oral form in those times.

    Oh, and some of those poets were executed for being subversive, but usually for straying in religious rather than sexual areas.

    My point was that male-to-male expressions of love and desire were and are a well-established literary tradition to the Arabs.

    On a general note, the idea that the Arabs and the Islamic Empire were backward compared to Europe (the West of its day) in the Middle Ages is plain wrong. It was quite the reverse. There were educated, cultured, artistic and urbane societies in places such as Cairo, Baghdad, Kufa, Basra and Damascus that were on a par with or way ahead of Europe in most areas for centuries.

    Mike, I don't know that specific example but it sounds like the tavern-frequenting, wine-drinking, boy-courting poetry tradition right there.

    Posted by: edude | Jun 15, 2014 3:00:04 PM

  14. Edude:
    Europe was certainly very backward in the Middle Ages because it was still in the grip of the Roman Catholic Church, including the area of science and technology. Then the good old British gave us the industrial revolution which started the ball rolling. Now we are in the Information Ages which has tremendous impact on every facet of our life. I can't imagine how life would be like without computers and all those gadgets and appliances at our homes.

    Posted by: simon | Jun 15, 2014 5:28:13 PM

  15. If only he re-released the single with the substitutions

    Posted by: Kyle | Jun 15, 2014 7:48:01 PM

  16. Yes, he sings for his whole audience, both str8 and gay. The song is about how being in love makes you feel; it's the same whether you're gay or not. Love is love. The song transcends gender.

    Posted by: Chuck Mielke | Jun 15, 2014 8:37:26 PM

  17. I always thought that song was about a man.

    Posted by: Jay | Jun 15, 2014 10:40:08 PM

  18. Thanks for that Edude.

    Posted by: emjayay | Jun 15, 2014 11:28:12 PM

  19. Do you guys even know what 'subversive' means?

    Posted by: H.J. | Jun 16, 2014 5:52:07 AM

  20. SIMON: "bear the blunts?"

    That sounds like a lot more fun than to "bear the brunt."

    Literacy is your friend.

    Posted by: Mark | Jun 16, 2014 6:02:51 AM

  21. Computer literacy and Google are also your friends. It was not something carved in stone or fixed by the Bible.

    Posted by: simon | Jun 16, 2014 9:34:21 AM

  22. Hi, Simon:

    thanks for your postings.

    Simon, there is a regular poster to Towleroad that Edude's comments remind me of. And the b1tch will not post under one posting name. She's crazy.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 16, 2014 10:18:35 AM

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