Melissa Etheridge released new poignant, folk-pop song “Pulse” last week, honoring those killed and injured at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. She debuted the song onstage in Torrington, Connecticut. A video of the performance was filmed for public TV series Infinity Hall Live.
“[“Pulse”] was based on the incredible deep sadness and emotion I felt Sunday morning when I woke up,” Etheridge said. “You just see that insane pain, right? I know, I know … I realized that one of the victims was from here actually, Kimberly, KJ, correct? I was in New York City Sunday and found myself alone in my apartment. I picked up my guitar because it makes me feel better when I play. I started playing and realized I was writing a song about Orlando and my brothers and sisters that were there and about the whole pain that we are all going through.
“I think, [as] musicians … our job is to heal,” she continued. “Our job is to put all of those emotions in something and send it out and give it a place to where we can all just breathe and understand that we’re all humans and we all have a pulse. So this is for you, Torrington. I hope I make it through. This is for you; this is just for everybody, OK? For the whole damn human race.”
Etheridge opened by looping percussion sounds into a minimal beat. Strumming palm-muted chords on a 12-string acoustic guitar, she sang: “Everybody’s got a pain inside” – but after fighting back tears, she’s forced to start the song again.
Etheridge was deeply moved by the horrific event and turned to songwriting to cope, she told Rolling Stone last week. “We’re mirrors of society,” she said. “We want to try to make sense. We want to try to heal. We want to bring some meaning, some purpose. We also want to put it down forever in history. That’s how I’m coping.”