Kevin Morby, Torres, & More Write Songs About The 27 Amendments To The Constitution

Adarsha Benjamin

Kevin Morby, Torres, & More Write Songs About The 27 Amendments To The Constitution

Adarsha Benjamin

The More Perfect podcast from WNYC Studios is turning its insightful political analysis into educational activism with the announcement of 27: The Most Perfect Album, a compilation of original songs inspired by the 27 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

The set features a song, and in some cases more than one, for each amendment by a diverse and highly acclaimed group of artists, including Dolly Parton, Devendra Banhart, They Might Be Giants and Kash Doll. The album will also feature voice-over narration from award-winning actor Jeffrey Wright.

The first release is folk singer-songwriter Kevin Morby’s take on the 24th Amendment’s elimination of poll taxes. “24th Amendment” works as a blues-driven tune that only Morby’s observational lyrics and circuitous storytelling could conjure. He reflects the history of the legislation by noting small financial grievances and sacrifices that accrue throughout the song until it becomes clear that nothing can break the cycle except the right to vote.

27: The Most Perfect Album is set to drop on 9/18 and will coincide with the premiere of More Perfect’s third season, which will break down each amendment and apply it to the modern day. Though the series will serve a much different tune than its companion album, it’s certain to strike a chord.

In a statement, More Perfect creator and host Jad Abumrad says, “The mission of this album is to take these sometimes forgotten words and animate them through the power of music. These 27 amendments not only outline our basic rights as Americans, but they also show a country changing, evolving, re-imagining itself. Striving (and not always succeeding) to be better. These songs will be a way to say that these words matter.”

Get a first listen of Kevin Morby’s “24th Amendment” below, and check out the full track list after the jump.


1st Amendment: Cherry Glazerr; Joey Stylez
Guarantees the right to the freedoms of speech, press, and religion. Protects the right to petition the government.

2nd Amendment: Sateen; Michael Richard Klics; Flor de Toloache
Guarantees the people’s right to own and bear arms for their defense.

3rd Amendment: Palehound; They Might Be Giants
Citizens cannot be forced to quarter soldiers during times of peace.

4th Amendment: Briana Marela
Citizens cannot be forced to subject themselves to seizure and search without a search warrant and probable cause.

5th Amendment: Torres
Prohibits abuse of governmental authority in legal procedures. Establishes rules for indictment by eminent domain and grand jury. Guarantees the due process rights. Protects citizens from self-incrimination and double jeopardy.

6th Amendment: Sons of an Illustrious Father
Guarantees fair and speedy jury trial and the rights to know the accusation, the accuser, and to find counsel and witnesses.

7th Amendment: Adia Victoria; Nana Grizol
Reserves individuals’ rights to jury trial depending on the civil case and cases already examined by not be re-opened by another court.

8th Amendment: High Waisted
Forbids exorbitant bails and fines and punishment that is unusual or cruel.

9th Amendment: The Kominas
Reserves the rights of citizens which are not specifically mentioned by the U.S. Constitution.

10th Amendment: Lean Year
Reserves powers that are not given to the U.S. government under the Constitution, nor prohibited to a State of the U.S., to the people and the States.

11th Amendment: Field Medic
State sovereign immunity. States are protected from suits by citizens living in another state or foreigners that do not reside within the state borders.

12th Amendment: The Octopus Project
Modifies and clarifies the procedure for electing vice-presidents and presidents.

13th Amendment: Kash Doll; Bette Smith
Except as punishment for criminal offense, forbids forced-slavery and involuntary servitude.

14th Amendment: Poet Sarah Kay
Details Equal Protection Clause, Due Process Clause, Citizenship Clause, and clauses dealing with the Confederacy and its officials.

15th Amendment: Aisha Burns; Nnamdi Ogbonnaya
Reserves citizens the suffrage rights regardless of their race, color, or previous slave status.

16th Amendment: Post Animal
Reserves the U.S. government the right to tax income.

17th Amendment: Stef Chura; Donny Dinero (of Mail The Horse)
Establishes popular voting as the process under which senators are elected.

18th Amendment: The Slants
Denies the sale and consumption of alcohol.

19th Amendment: Dolly Parton
Reserves women’s suffrage rights.

20th Amendment: Huey Supreme
Also known as the “lame duck amendment,” establishes date of term starts for Congress (January 3) & the President (January 20).

21st Amendment: The Slants
Details the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment. State laws over alcohol are to remain.

22nd Amendment: Pavo Pavo
Limits the terms that an individual can be elected as president (at most two terms). Individuals who have served over two years of someone else’s term may not be elected more than once.

23rd Amendment: The Mellow Tones, from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C.
Reserves the right of citizens residing in the District of Columbia to vote for their own Electors for presidential elections.

24th Amendment: Kevin Morby; Caroline Shaw
Citizens cannot be denied the suffrage rights for not paying a poll tax or any other taxes.

25th Amendment: Devendra Banhart
Establishes the procedures for a successor of a President.

26th Amendment: Suburban Living
Reserves the right for citizens 18 and older to vote.

27th Amendment: Kevin Devine
Denies any laws that vary the salaries of Congress members until the beginning of the next terms of office for Representatives.

27: The Most Perfect Album is out 9/18.

This article originally appeared on Billboard.

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