Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Lauryn Hill was performing her song "Black Rage" long before the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, began, but it's only now in the light of the protests that she's made public an old recording of the song.
It's eerie how well Hill's lyrics fit the situation and further prove how the shooting in Ferguson and the country's response reach far beyond Michael Brown.
"Black rage is founded on draining and draining. Threatening your freedom to stop your complaining," Hill sings, her farsighted words mirroring the reality in Ferguson, where protests were met with "militarized" police and journalists were arrested.
The song was modeled after "My Favorite Things," made famous by Julie Andrews in the film "The Sound Of Music." In Hill's hands, the song's familiar refrain of "when the dog bites, when the bee stings" becomes "when the dogs bite, when the beatings."
"Black Rage" reminds listeners not just of the depth of Ferguson's injustice, but its context. Systemic prejudice doesn't roll to a stop outside the town's limits. And although the protesters are gathered in Michael Brown's name, the song provides a fitting anthem for the scope of their dissent.
"Strange, the course of things," Hill tweeted with the song's release. "Peace to MO."