Sunday, July 17, 2005

THERE'S A SHADOW ON THE FACES

Jackson Brown wrote this back in the Eighties. I heard it first on an episode of Miami Vice that centered on Central America.

LIVES IN THE BALANCE

I’ve been waiting for something to happen
For a week or a month or a year.
With the blood in the ink of the headlines
And the sound of the gun in my ear.

You might ask what it takes to remember
When you know that you’ve seen it before.
When a government lies to its people
And a country is drifting to war..

And there’s a shadow on the faces
Of the men who send the guns
To the wars that are fought
In places where their business interests run.

On the radio talk shows and the TV
You hear one thing again and again.
How the USA stands for freedom
And we come to the aid of a friend.

But who are these people that we call our friends-
These governments killing their own?
Or the people who just can’t take any more
And they pick up a gun or a brick or a stone.

There are lives in the balance.
There are people under fire.
There are children at the canons.
And there is blood on the wire.

There’s a shadow on the faces
Of the men who fan the flames
Of the wars that are fought in places
Where we can’t even say their names.

They sell us the president the same way
They sell our clothes and our cars.
They sell us everything from youth to religion
The same time they sell us our wars.

I want to know who the men in the shadows are.
I want to hear someone asking them why
They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are
But they’re never the ones to fight or to die.

And there are lives in the balance.
There are people under fire.
There are children at the cannons
And there is blood on the wire.

Jackson Brown

It’s an angry song. A very angry song. Some things have changed over the last twenty years. Not much really. One thing I am sure of violence never solves anything. It’s a bandage over an infected wound. We lance it, it drains, maybe it moves someplace else. We lance it again. It drains again. But the infection remains. And it will keep infecting us. I wish to heaven I had an answer. My youngest nephew turns thirteen this month. The oldest will be twenty one in November.
I look at the world we’re building for them to inherit and I don’t know what I’m going to say to them when they ask, “What the hell happened?”

4 comments:

chasingmoksha said...

I hate Karl Rove, George Bush, Condi Rice, and Dick Cheney.  They are all evil and they have enough nerve to spout that they are fighting evil ideology, along with their evil lapdog Tony Blair.  I wish America would wake up!

lisaram1955 said...

The scary part for me is that, no...what our government does and wants to do hasn't changed.  But for a brief shining moment, back in the sixties and seventies, we questioned them.  We stood up for what was right, and we threw our weight around, and we made a difference.

Now, we just sit back in our recliners, soak up the hype and the party lines, and cheer.  Or sleep.  Lisa  :-]

hope5555 said...

You are right. Violence never solved anything. I'm thinking that all of us who are pissed off need to start directing our energies somehow.  Like maybe devoting 10 minutes a day to writing and sending a letter....to the editor, to a Senator, to the school board, whoever.  That's what I was talking about with DH last night. I told him,"I need to put my anger on auto pilot, so that for 10 minutes each day I rant, rave, and then send a letter to someone in power....and then forget about this crap for the other 23 hours and 50 minutes per day."

I just followed my own advice and sent an e-mail to Senator Norm Coleman about supporting the Global AIDS Fund (got that idea from the "One" campaign). I told him I'd like to use 2-3 week's worth of 'Iraq War' money and divert it to Africa, AIDS, etc. Our government could use a few billion dollars to actually make the world a better place instead of a worse place.

schoolgal040 said...

Hi Jackie,
I saw the lyrics to this song and it rang a familiar bell in my head. So of course I had to and download from iTunes (love iTunes). What a great song! You are right, so many of the lyrics are angry and ring true of our world today. With the way things are looking, it will probably ring true for generations to come unless something is done........soon.

Great, great entry.

Gayla
http://journals.aol.com/schoolgal040/SoMuchMore

PS: Could you believe that bug? Oh my gosh, I'm still not over it! LOL