Like Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”, Henson Cargill’s 1968 debut single “Skip A Rope” remains an incredibly relevant and sadly prescient song. Laid back yet forceful, it offers a blunt message regarding the roots of racism and violence within a gently galloping, almost nursery rhyme-ish tune – the sonic epitome of sour and sweet. The song describes how kids absorb the values they’re exposed to; a directive to parents and adults to be aware at how terrible notions are taught through observation and exposure. It asks them to listen then look in the mirror and take responsibility. It’s a country pop song yes, but it’s brimming with some hard truths.
Margo Price offered up an absolutely stellar cover of “Skip A Rope’ during her recent Grand Ole Opry Livestream performance, prefacing the song with a brief and pointed message “We have a serious problem with racism in this country and, if you have small children and we still have it in thirty years, it’s your fault, so please teach your children well”.
“Skip A Rope” begins just after 34 minute mark, but I encourage you to check out the whole three song performance which starts half an hour in.