'It's About Time': A powerful new song takes on marriage equality

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Karen Mason

Karen Mason (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune / February 5, 2013)

At the time, they couldn't, because the song was too new. Since then, Mason has sung it in Chicago, San Francisco and elsewhere, as has pianist Markham, who will be including it on his next ablum, "Things I've Learned Along the Way."

Mason has cut an MP3 of the tune for her website, karenmason.com, and posted a performance on YouTube, all of which seems exquisitely timed. President. Barack Obama, after all, recently cited marriage equality in his inaugural address, and the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take on two cases addressing the issue.

The song could not have a more passionate advocate than Mason, but all parties agree that if a superstar took on the tune, it could rocket into public consciousness.

"I'd like to see somebody (famous) do it," concedes composer Markham, who has penned a melody that progresses as unstoppably as gay rights have in the past several years.

Certainly if Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Barry Manilow or another singer of comparable stature performed the song, it would stand a very good chance of taking wing. Its message, high craft and pop accessibility suggest hit potential.

"Would I like Elton John to sing it?" asks lyricist Rolnick rhetorically, not even bothering to provide the obvious answer: of course!

But whether or not that happens, "It's About Time" surely has all the makings of a key cultural statement on marriage equality.

It's melodically and lyrically simple enough that anyone can sing and remember it, yet it's meaningful enough to bear repeated hearings.

Which is exactly what it should get.

To read more from Howard Reich, go to chicagotribune.com/reich.

Twitter @howardreich

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