Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Two Songs titled "Haiti"

Offered in contemplation of the people who are suffering so much right now as a result of the yesterday's devastating earthquake. These are greats songs by artists you should know/check out, with lyrics offered in the spirit of cultural criticism under fair use terms.

"Haiti" by Arcade Fire:

Haiti, mon pays,
wounded mother I'll never see.
Ma famille set me free.
Throw my ashes into the sea.

Mes cousins jamais nes
hantent les nuits de Duvalier.
Rien n'arrete nos espirits.
Guns can't kill what soldiers can't see.

In the forest we are hiding,
unmarked graves where flowers grow.
Hear the soldiers angry yelling,
in the river we will go.

Tous les morts-nes forment une armee,
soon we will reclaim the earth.
All the tears and all the bodies
bring about our second birth.

Haiti, never free,
n'aie pas peur de sonner l'alarme.
Tes enfants sont partis,
in those days their blood was still warm.

"Haiti" by Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil:

When you are invited to ascend the steps of the Jorge Amado Foundation
To see from up high the row of soldiers, almost all black
beating the necks of black good-for-nothings, of mulatto thieves and other almost-whites
treated like blacks only to show the other almost-blacks (and they’re almost all black)
and the almost-whites poor like blacks how it is that blacks, the poor, and mulattos
and almost-whites almost black from poverty are treated.
And it doesn’t matter if the eyes of the whole world might be for a moment focused on the square
where slaves were punished and today drums pounding drums pounding
with the purity of uniformed children from high school during a field day
and the epic grandeur of an emerging people attracts us, fascinates us, stimulates.
Nothing matters: not the outline of the villanot the camera lens of “Fantástico,” not even Paul Simon’s record
Nobody, nobody is a citizen.If you go to the party in Pelô, and even if you don’t go
think of Haiti, pray for Haiti
Haiti is here – Haiti is not here.

And if on TV you see a politician poorly trying to hide his panic
in the face of any, absolutely any, any education plan
which seems easy, which seems easy and quick
and which represents the threat of democratization of primary education
and if this same politician defends the adoption of capital punishment
and if the venerable Cardinal says he sees so much soul in the fetus and none in the criminal
and if, while running the light, that same old red light,
you notice a man on the street corner pissing on a shining bag of garbage from Leblon
and when you hear the smiling silence of São Paulo
in the face of the massacre111 defenseless prisoners, prisoners almost all black
or almost-black, or almost-whites almost black from poverty
and the poor are treated like trash and everyone knows how they treat blacks
and when you take a trip to the Caribbean and when you have sex without a condom
and intelligently voice your support for the blockade against Cuba
Think of Haiti, pray for Haiti
Haiti is here – Haiti is not here.


Berenice Corti said...

Thank you. Peace for all.

Kevin said...

Yes, peace for all. Thanks for reading/listening.