This Year’s ‘Political Folk Song of the Year’ Was Written by a Boricua Songwriter

Dec 16, 2014
3:53 PM

In case you didn’t know, NPR just proclaimed “The Body Electric,” written by Alynda Lee Segarra of Hurray for the Riff Raff, as the 2014 Political Folk Song of the Year. Segarra is a Puerto Rican songwriter from the Bronx. She is now based in New Orleans, along with the rest of the band.

This is what Segarra once said about the band:

The name of our band is Hurray for the Riff Raff, and the Riff Raff has always been defined by us as outcasts of society. We are a political feminist queer folk roots music band with a Puerto Rican front woman. We were inspired to play music by outspoken artists of the past who stood their ground in the face of great adversity. Women of color in particular sharing their pain and their struggles made us the musicians we are today.

Here is a video of “The Body Electric,” whose production was fan-funded, with the remaining funds donated to the Third Wave Fund and Trayvon Martin Foundation.

This is what the video’s director Joshua Shoemaker said about the project:

This video is a meditation on the acceptance of violence and discrimination against people of color, women and the LGBT community. We took these frustrations and paired them with classic imagery. Replacing the Botticelli’s Venus with Katey Red, the transgender mother of ‘sissy bounce,’ is something that speaks clearly without having to be salacious or heavy-handed.

Earlier this year, the band performed “The Body Electric” on Letterman. By the way, the song was also named the #1 Song of 2014 by American Songwriter.

The song is part of the band’s album, Small Town Heroes.


We just thought you should know.