Mondo Cozmo, aka Philadelphia-born singer Joshua Keith Ostrander, is lending his voice to the growing wave of anger and resistance over the nation’s latest mass shooting, aiming his vitriol at President Trump and a political class that stubbornly refuses to enact any meaningful gun-control legislation.
In a haunting new song, “The Ballad of Vegas,” Ostrander speaks directly to a nameless (but obvious) leader, telling him, “I hope you hear their voices when you’re eating your dessert / I hope you see their faces when you’re making love to her.” The lyrics reference the death tolls in recent mass shootings in Las Vegas, Orlando, and Newtown, Conn. It was the most recent tragedy, a killing spree in Parkland, Fla., that took the lives of 17 more people, that compelled Mondo Cozmo to finish the song he’d been working on.
Read: Mondo Cozmo: The Best of What’s Next
“I started writing this song after the Vegas shooting, and then I stopped,” he said. “I started writing it again after the Texas church shooting. And I stopped. And on Friday, I started again.”
As the spare, acoustic song draws to its conclusion, Trump’s voice can be heard in the background addressing a gathering of the National Rifle Association after he secured the lobbying group’s endorsement in the 2016 election. “So to get the endorsement, believe me, is a fantastic honor,” the president says. “I will not let you down.”
You can stream “The Ballad of Vegas” below. Those who email mondocozmoPEACE@gmail.com will receive a free download of the song.