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John Ondrasik’s Songs of Moral Clarity

Singer-Songwriter John Ondrasik is out with another song about world events. Through his newest release “OK” about the October 7 Sabbath Massacre in Israel, coming on the heels of 2021’s “Blood on My Hands” in response to the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and

2022’s “Can One Man Save The World?” about Ukrainian resistance to Russia, he has solidified his position as the preeminent musical voice of moral clarity in a world where shades of grey ambiguity regularly propose to cloud our understanding of right and wrong.

 

Given that he performs as ‘Five for Fighting’ you may not immediately recognize Ondrasik, but he was nominated for a Grammy in 2002 for "Superman (It's Not Easy).” The song became somewhat of an anthem after the September 11 attacks and Ondrasik performed the song at The Concert for New York City on October 20, 2001. The song hit number 1 on the Adult Top 40 and the album "American Town" was certified Platinum in 2004.

 

The first single from his third studio album, The Battle for Everything (2004) also reached number one on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2007 that song was also certified Platinum.

 

But we’re not here to celebrate Mr. Ondrasik’s career or past successes, what’s important to us is what he has to say through his music about what’s going on today – and in “OK” he says something important and all too rare in today’s culture.

 

Echoing Ronald Reagan’s immortal speech on behalf of Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign Mr. Ondrasik tells his audience, “This is a time for choosing...”



 “OK,” begins with an excerpt from Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ speech following the attack, then transitions to Ondrasik’s lyrics stating, “This is a time for choosing, this is a time to mourn.” The chorus relays a simple message shared by many in the aftermath of the attack: “We are not OK.”

 

The powerful music video released with the track of “OK” features images from the Oct. 7 attacks and ensuing acts of antisemitism and pro-Hamas activism. The video identifies the supporters of that evil, from students harassing Jewish kids on campus to politicians like Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres justifying the unjustifiable barbarity of Hamas and the ancient blood libel of anti-Semitism.

 

As A.J. Amendola writing for the Daily Caller observed, the video ends on an uplifting note as Ondrasik features stories of people paying tribute to those lost and defending Jews being targeted now. He includes a story on Catholic universities offering refuge for Jewish students, as well as Steven Spielberg pledging to document the stories of Oct. 7 survivors. Also included is a clip showing an Israeli hostage being reunited with her family and a tribute to the victims at the site of the Supernova Music Festival.

 

One might find the idea of a song and music video about the October 7 Sabbath Massacre repelling, but in John Ondrasik’s deft hands the subject becomes not only uplifting but empowering.

 

I don’t know if John Ondrasik is a political conservative – it would probably hurt him in Hollywood and the music industry if he came out and said he is, nor do I know if he is a religious man, but in “Blood on My Hands,” “Can One Man Save The World?” and “OK,” he offers listeners a moral clarity rarely found coming from contemporary pulpits, let alone in Adult Contemporary music.

 

Go here for the official music video, go here for Five for Fighting tour dates, go here to buy “OK” through Apple music. BTW, we do not receive (or want) any promotional consideration for this review and these links.



  • John Ondrasik

  • Five for Fighting

  • Moral Clarity

  • Hamas October 7 attack

  • Superman It's not easy

  • OK video

  • This is a time for choosing

  • pro-Hamas activism

  • Palestinian protests

  • Israeli hostages

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