Bon Jovi releases new protest song, ‘American Reckoning’

bon jovi reckoning

An image from Bon Jovi’s lyric video for “American Reckoning.”

“When did a judge and a jury become a badge and a knee?” asks Jon Bon Jovi in his new, topical song, “American Reckoning,” which was released today.

This somber protest song, which will be on the upcoming Bon Jovi album Bon Jovi 2020, was clearly inspired by the murder of George Floyd and the massive demonstrations that followed. “America’s on fire/There’s protests in the street/Her conscience has been looted/And her soul is under siege,” sings Bon Jovi.

He also sings of a 12-year-old “who hasn’t lived life yet” and who wonders “Am I next?” and implores listeners, in the chorus, to “shine a light” and “stay alive.”

You can hear it below.

“I was moved to write American Reckoning as a witness to history,” said Jon Bon Jovi on the band’s website. “I believe the greatest gift of an artist is the ability to use their voice to speak to issues that move us.”

The message also says that the Bon Jovi 2020 album, as a whole, “takes a critical view of this staggering and historic year.”

Proceeds from the song will benefit Bryan Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative.

For more on the song, visit


Since launching in September 2014,, a 501(c)(3) organization, has become one of the most important media outlets for the Garden State arts scene. And it has always offered its content without a subscription fee, or a paywall. Its continued existence depends on support from members of that scene, and the state’s arts lovers. Please consider making a contribution of any amount to via PayPal, or by sending a check made out to to 11 Skytop Terrace, Montclair, NJ 07043.


Custom Amount

Personal Info

Donation Total: $20.00

Explore more articles:

Leave a Comment

Sign up for our Newsletter