Arts

Rabbi Micah Lapidus Creates New Song Inspired By President Biden’s Inaugural Address

"Better Angels" was  inspired by the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
"Better Angels" was inspired by the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Credit Micah Lapidus

In his first presidential inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln appealed “the better angels of our nature.” He urged Americans to recall and preserve what made the union great and worth preserving. In his recent inaugural address, President Joe Biden invoked the phrase and that inspired a new song by Rabbi Micah Lapidus. He’s the Director of Judaic and Hebrew Studies at The Davis Academy, and composer-in-residence at The Temple. Rabbi Lapidus joined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes via Zoom to talk about the song, “Better Angels.”

Interview Highlights:

What inspired the composition:

“I had the great fortune of watching the inauguration with my wife, and with my young children. We waited with bated breath to hear what message he would have for our country. As he spoke, I felt my heart softening. I felt my daughter, who is a little bit older, leaning in both curious and inspired. And when President Biden spoke of ‘better angels’, instantaneously I knew that the song would come for me and needed to be written.”

About the significance of the word ‘Angel’ in his song:

“Angels appear all over Jewish scripture. Angels are some sort of divine being and not quite human, although they can sometimes convey certain human emotions. In short, angels are messengers, they have very specific roles that they play in the spiritual life of humanity. To bring healing, to praise God, to convey a certain message. So in terms of the song ‘Better Angels,’ to me, it’s meant to be an American hymn and intended to be a spiritual way of thinking about how we as Americans can summon the angelic qualities within us to work towards a more perfect union.”

 

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