The Mighty Hannibal was a soul singer from Atlanta who released a large number of fantastic singles in the 1960s, some of which were compiled by Norton into 2001’s Hannibalism! I’ve listened to this record numerous times online, but last week I lucked into a vinyl copy and it’s been in heavy rotation at my place ever since.
Hannibal wrote love songs, dance songs, and protest songs. And right now feels like a really good time for all three.
Hymn No. 5 is a song about Vietnam and the effects of war. It was banned from the airwaves when it was released in 1966. It seems strange to think of a protest song being banned on the radio until you realize that’s exactly the direction we’re headed in once again.
All the songs on Hannibalism! are deep and evocative. It’s not light background listening. It’s something to make you feel. To make you think.
Not that the album is a downer. In the last week, I’ve found it an excellent escape from the news. Something up-lifting. Something to offer hope.
The Mighty Hannibal’s love songs are as deep and spiritual as his protest songs. And a good reminder that there are things out there worth getting out of bed for. Like music. Protest. And love, love, love.