I Can’t Keep Quiet About MILCK’s “Quiet”

In light of the recently unmasked travesty that is Hollywood and the anniversary of the U.S. election, there’s never been a timelier moment for a review of MILCK’s “Quiet”. This powerful, moving anthem recounts the inner monologue that a woman goes through. Heavily emphasized on repetition, and parallel structures, the melody itself is a catchy tune. Designed with a simple chord progression, it’s seamless for perfect harmonies. In a poetic way, it’s almost as if it was written to be sung by a group of women; ranging from the grounded altos to the free-spirited sopranos.

Originally written by singer-songwriter MILCK for the Women’s March in Washington D.C., the first-ever performance was published on YouTube the day of the march. Stated by the musician herself, the ladies in the original video were an eclectic group of women who gathered from different states. They rehearsed online, to meet only for the first time two days before the march. And then they sound like this: a collective entity. One voice speaking out against the injustices and oppression that they have come across. A collection of women of different races and different pitches, speaking out for themselves and on behalf of those who couldn’t be there. If that isn’t empowering, I don’t know what is.

My fantastic choir teacher back home didn’t hesitate when it came to the song and immediately recorded voice tracks for the song. So one can understand the impact the anthem had when the girls’ choir at my high school in Qatar, in the Middle East, performed the song shortly after it was released. The video reached virality overnight, gathering 2 million views to this day. The powerful lyrics shattered through barriers and reached women worldwide.

The song starts with a list of solemn statements representing phrases women hear in their lifetimes: “Put on your face / Know your place / Shut up and smile / Don’t spread your legs”. The turning point, the volta in this sonnet of unity, is the pre-chorus. It begins with perhaps one of the most powerful words in the English language: “But”.  “But no one knows me / No one ever will / If I don’t say something / If I just lie still”. It’s defying, it’s electrifying, and it chills you to the bone.

The original version:

And this fantastic, chilling version arranged by Choir! Choir! Choir! based in Toronto, Ontario featuring 1300 people and MILCK herself:

Recently MILCK recently released a statement amidst the #MeToo Movement, revealing plans to record the song featuring assault survivors, including herself.

Source

I am truly convinced that music is one of the most powerful, unifying forces in this universe. Now is the time more than ever to honor anthems that make us feel empowered. The anthems that speak out on behalf of those who don’t have a voice. Honor it, sing it, feel it, share it. The song may have only been stuck in my head for days, but it’s those words that have been stuck in the minds of survivors for years.