Apologies to Eric Crespo whose beautiful The Ballad of the Drowned escaped recording.
“In My Spare Time” Read by Vanessa Kauffman
In My Spare Time by Iraqi poet, Fadhil al-Azzawi is a poem that illuminates the importance of dreaming. When thinking about the kind of poem that I wanted to share in Occupation/Preoccupation, I sought poetry that had a voice allowing for an authentic recognition about the confusion of war and one's personal responsibility for reaction. This poem very much takes me out of one claimed space, and puts me into a place where I can envision (with so much want) a global humanity. The sharing of music and poetry during wartime remains hugely important, as it points to the borderless desire to disseminate information and ideas. This is where our hope lives. I am most effected by this poem's visual suggestions that nations are not permanently divisive of peaceful cultivation or human connectedness. Translated from Arabic by Khaled Mattawa, from Miracle Maker: The Selected Poems of Fadhil Al-Azzawi.
i'll be singing one song, from dick gaughan, from scotland. he's a prominent political song writer there who's been writing music since 1970. his songs have been recorded by many, including: Billy Bragg, Christy Moore, Mary Black, Roy Bailey and Capercaillie.He lists his greatest influences as Karl Marx and Groucho Marx.
the song is called "think again". the first line is "do you think that the russians want war?", about the cold war between the US and the then-soviet union.
paul has been singing acupella since he was a kid, and dreams of doing standup comedy about corporate rule.
the song I selected is a rendition of a Liberian Hipco song 'Tru Storry'
When asked if I would like to participate in the project I instantly thought of my sister's best friend who works for the CIA and recently got transferred to West Africa. I began to research Liberia and familiarizing myself with the countries troubled past founded by it's long political relationship with the US and the American Colonization Society who help establish the Republic of Liberia in 1847. After the civil war ended in 2003 it took only 3 years before the US African Command settled their main military base in Liberia, the only African Republic that would support the US military defense project. The United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM or AFRICOM) is a Unified Combatant Command of the United States Department of Defense that is responsible for U.S. military operations and military relations with 53 African nations - an area of responsibility covering all of Africa except Egypt.
The song I'm playing (with Mary on violin) on Friday is by an Iraqi musician by the name of Bawin, and so far I've found absolutely no information on him. Some friends who speak arabic have been helping me track down more info on him, but at this moment, all I know is that the song is called "Ya Binaya Goumi" and is in the popular chobi style.
I chose the song because of its beauty, but also because of the reality that I know so little about Iraq.
from the Wikipedia entry on Iraqi popular music:
"Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq and fall of Saddam Hussein, some militant extremists have been attacking musicians, especially those in the port city of Basra, where Shia extremists are believed to be responsible... Music shops in the Summar district have been the target of grenade bombings. Religious leaders have closed some of the concert halls and clubs in the city."
I picked this song written by Buffy Sainte Marie a Canadian Cree in 1965 .The song reminds us that the decision to oppress other human beings or to nurture them rests in each one of us. We can choose a peaceful or warlike stance.
“How Could Anyone Ever Tell You” Simmons Rose
Simmons Rose (Yvonne & Mary) have been singing "How Could Anyone..." by Libby Rodericks for 15 years. Yvonne has sung it in (former) Yugoslavia, Peru & where ever she has worked for peace. Mary sings it at Women Studies classes & WILPF meetings. Together they sing Libby's song in several languages to help people unite in empowering harmony. It's simple tune & repeating phrase encourage participation & individual strength. We hope folks will join us in singing tonight.