By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jul 24, 2020 at 10:00 AM

After a group of Louisville musicians wrote, recorded and released, In April, a civic celebration in song called "Lift Up Louisville," bourbon city’s Mayor Greg Fischer challenged other cities to do the same and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett encouraged Radio Milwaukee and Imagine MKE to give it a whirl.

The result is "Milwaukee Strong."

The song and video were released Friday at 10 a.m. in a live-streamed event, hosted by 88Nine on-air personality Dori Zori, which you can find here.

With a "We Are the World" and "Do They Know It’s Christmas" alternating-vocalists-and-backing-chorus approach, the musical tribute to Milwaukee features contributions from more than 30 Brew City musicians.

"Milwaukee artists have brought creativity, imagination, and passion to both ‘Milwaukee Strong’ and ‘The Hero In You.’ The results of their work are remarkable," said Mayor Barrett. "In suggesting a Milwaukee song, I hoped for a piece that would inspire and unify our community; my expectations have been greatly exceeded."

Here are the lyrics to the song:

Milwaukee Strong
Music and Lyrics by Shonn Hinton; rap lyrics by Ray Nitti
© 2020

We are the proud we are the true
We work together we’re heroes through and through 
Like the foundation of our homes
We stand together 
Milwaukee Strong
Through the fire and through the rain 
our tomorrow will be a better day. 
Cause we are proud of what we know, 
we are the good land 
Milwaukee Strong.
From the ashes and the dust 
we will rise we’ll all stand up 
With hope in our eyes we’ll grow on 
We will rebuild brick by brick 
stone by stone
Through the test of fire 
through the test of rain 
our tomorrow will be a better day. 
Cause we are proud of what we know, 
we are the good land 
Milwaukee Strong.
Ray Nitti:
Milwaukee strong, like black coffee
Milwaukee Black and Brown, so please change policy
Milwaukee let’s work on ending poverty
Milwaukee growing, let’s make sure that we grow it properly
Milwaukee home, so let our love show
Milwaukee special, invest in the homegrown
Talent, we all searching for balance,
united the Good Land’s approaching all our challenge
Hand in hand 
You and me
Working together 
Like a family 
Together we stand
Through it all 
Hand in hand
Standing tall
Every day 
In every way
Spreading love
The Milwaukee way
Loud and proud
Through and through
This is who we are
And this is what we do
Through the test of fire 
through the test of rain 
our tomorrow will be a better day. 
Cause we are proud of what we know, 
we are the good land
Milwaukee Strong.

In addition to lifting up the city and its morale, the song aims to honor heroes. The video for the tune includes footage of the creation of artist Ken Brown’s 620-foot-long "The Hero in You" mural – which honors frontline workers – being painted on the James Lovell Street side of MacArthur Square, as well as depicting everyday hometown heroes doing their work.

"Milwaukee Strong" will also help boost the profiles of more than two dozen talented hometown musicians, including Shonn Hinton, who wrote the song, and B-Free, who produced it, as well as other creatives, who made the video and contributed in other ways.

Here is a list of the artists who contributed to the "Milwaukee Strong" project:

Dena Aronson
Alex Ayers
B~Free
Ken Brown
Pat Buckley
Alyssa Caroline
Roxi Copland
Dan Didier
Olen Franklin
Ava Gessner
Samer Ghani
Trinity Grace
Paul Hauser
Shonn Hinton
Kyndal J.
Terry Jeanes Jr.
Jonathan Jones
Alex Julien
Timothy Klabunde
Greg Koch
Evan Lane
Randy Merrill
Alesia Miller
Ousia Moon
Ray Nitti
Danielle Renee
Elle Renee
REYNA
Johanna Rose
SistaStrings
Kevin Sucher
Jesse Weinberg
Warren Wiegratz
Dee Yancey
Adrian Zitoun

Barrett has proclaimed

Friday, July 24, 2020 "Milwaukee Strong Day."

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.