“Hunger Strike” by Daughtry (ft. Lajon Witherspoon)

To note, “Hunger Strike” was actually written by the late Chris Cornell, the former frontman of Soundgarden. Cornell was a songwriter who we’ve undoubtedly pointed out in the past as relying heavily on symbolic language. And so it is with “Hunger Strike”. But that established, it is still ascertainable that what Daughtry and Witherspoon are speaking to is the concept of economic exploitation. And we also know more specifically what this song is about, based on the explanation that Cornell provided.

He was inspired to write this piece by the death of a friend who died as a result of ODing on heroine. And the way Chris processed that whole experience was by developing what he referred to as a “disdain” towards people who do not value the intrinsic gift of life. And to him apparently, such individuals would be those who go about exploiting others. In his eyes, these individuals live off more than they need. And in the process of achieving the said surplus, they resort to exploiting the weak.  

Or as Chris explained it, you can’t really be super-hard chillin’, you know, living the lifestyle of the ultra-fat unless you’re denying someone(s) else the opportunity to do so.

In Conclusion

Whereas such an explanation may sound like a criticism of wealth distribution or what have you, that’s not really what this song is about. In fact “Hunger Strike” is deceptively deep. For in the verses, when the vocalist sings from the first person, he is obviously taking on the role of the oppressor. 

So if this standard is true, throughout the entire track, that means it is also the selfsame oppressor who is lamenting “going hungry” in the chorus. And if understood in such a manner, then yes, the vocalists do in fact get Chris Cornell’s point across, in a roundabout way, that fulfillment in life is not achieved via excess. In fact the further implication would be that the opposite is rather true.

Lyrics to Daughtry's "Hunger Strike"

Quick Facts about “Hunger Strike”

The group featured Lajon Witherspoon on “Hunger Strike”. Lajon is an American singer best known for being the leader of a band called Sevendust.

This piece is actually a cover of Temple of the Dog’s “Hunger Strike”. American singer/songwriter, Chris Cornell is credited with writing the song.

“Hunger Strike” appears on the group’s album, “Dearly Beloved” which is their 6th studio album. Two singles, namely, “Heavy Is the Crown” and “World on Fire”, released in 2021 and 2020 respectively, accompanied the album.

When was “Hunger Strike” released?

Daughtry’s “Hunger Strike” was released on May 28 of 2021.

Hunger Strike

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