In Music

The collaborative musical celebration of Milwaukee is released today.

More than 40 local creatives team up for "MKE Strong" anthem

After a group of Louisville musicians wrote, recorded and released, In April, a civic celebration in song called "Lift Up Louisville," bourbon city's Mayor Greg Fischer challenged other cities to do the same and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett encouraged Radio Milwaukee and Imagine MKE to give it a whirl.

The result is "Milwaukee Strong."

The song and video were released Friday at 10 a.m. in a live-streamed event, hosted by 88Nine on-air personality Dori Zori, which you can find here.

With a "We Are the World" and "Do They Know It's Christmas" alternating-vocalists-and-backing-chorus approach, the musical tribute to Milwaukee features contributions from more than 30 Brew City musicians.

"Milwaukee artists have brought creativity, imagination, and passion to both 'Milwaukee Strong' and 'The Hero In You.' The results of their work are remarkable," said Mayor Barrett. "In suggesting a Milwaukee song, I hoped for a piece that would inspire and unify our community; my expectations have been greatly exceeded."

Here are the lyrics to the song:

Milwaukee Strong
Music and Lyrics by Shonn Hinton; rap lyrics by Ray Nitti
© 2020

We are the proud we are the true
We work together we're heroes through and through
Like the foundation of our homes
We stand together
Milwaukee Strong
Through the fire and through the rain
our tomorrow will be a better day.
Cause we are proud of what we know,
we are the good land
Milwaukee Strong.
From the ashes and the dust
we will rise we'll all stand up
With hope in our eyes we'll grow on
We will rebuild brick by brick
stone by stone
Through the test of fire
through the test of rain
our tomorrow will be a better day.
Cause we are proud of what we know,
we are the good land
Milwaukee Strong.
Ray Nitti:
Milwaukee strong, like black coffee
Milwaukee Black and Brown, so please change policy
Milwaukee let's work on ending poverty
Milwaukee growing, let's make sure that we grow it properly
Milwaukee home, so let our love show
Milwaukee special, invest in the homegrown
Talent, we all searching for balance,
united the Good Land's approaching all our challenge
Hand in hand
You and me
Working together
Like a family
Together we stand
Through it all
Hand in hand
Standing tall
Every day
In every way
Spreading love
The Milwaukee way
Loud and proud
Through and through
This is who we are
And this is what we do
Through the test of fire
through the test of rain
our tomorrow will be a better day.
Cause we are proud of what we know,
we are the good land
Milwaukee Strong.

In addition to lifting up the city and its morale, the song aims to honor heroes. The video for the tune includes footage of the creation of artist Ken Brown's 620-foot-long "The Hero in You" mural – which honors frontline workers – being painted on the James Lovell Street side of MacArthur Square, as well as depicting everyday hometown heroes doing their work.

"Milwaukee Strong" will also help boost the profiles of more than two dozen talented hometown musicians, including Shonn Hinton, who wrote the song, and B-Free, who produced it, as well as other creatives, who made the video and contributed in other ways.

Here is a list of the artists who contributed to the "Milwaukee Strong" project:

Dena Aronson
Alex Ayers
B~Free
Ken Brown
Pat Buckley
Alyssa Caroline
Roxi Copland
Dan Didier
Olen Franklin
Ava Gessner
Samer Ghani
Trinity Grace
Paul Hauser
Shonn Hinton
Kyndal J.
Terry Jeanes Jr.
Jonathan Jones
Alex Julien
Timothy Klabunde
Greg Koch
Evan Lane
Randy Merrill
Alesia Miller
Ousia Moon
Ray Nitti
Danielle Renee
Elle Renee
REYNA
Johanna Rose
SistaStrings
Kevin Sucher
Jesse Weinberg
Warren Wiegratz
Dee Yancey
Adrian Zitoun

Barrett has proclaimed

Friday, July 24, 2020 "Milwaukee Strong Day."

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