Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Song Remains the Same...

I know some of you know my utter fascination (read: dangerous obsession) with a singer called Fish. He's the former frontman of an 80's English/Scottish Progressive rock band called "Marillion." Some of you have heard me wax poetic about the Haddington Bear before. (He's called the Haddington Bear because he's from a town called, coincidentally enough -- Haddington, and he's six foot five.)

He is more than just a singer to me -- he has the soul of a poet. He often writes political songs, and this one of his, "The Pilgrim's Address" is one that I think is relevant, even today. It was originally written about the Gulf War, and Bosnia, but I think it's just as poignant now, even more so with the catastrophe that is the loss of life in the Middle East.

Here are the lyrics. He says what I feel so much better than I can express it.

"The Pilgrim's Address"

Mr President, you don't know my name,
But you could find it if you really cared,
Because I pay my taxes and I pay my dues,
All I ask for in return is the truth.
Can we just be honest, I've heard that speech is free
So please believe me that this address is sincere
I'm no-one special, just a regular guy
But I just can't keep on wondering why
That the shells we fired they now kill our own
And we waste away like shadows in our homes.

I fell from blue skies, fought through desert storms
I froze in firefights, I killed someone,
That had a father who loved him just like mine
Who believed the sacrifice was justified
In the name of freedom and in the name of God
While shifting sands hid all our sins and all the blood
In the wake of glory, I flew back home
I watch videos at night in my uniform
Of those towns and cities being blown apart
By those bombs that fool the people by being smart
As they flew down chimneys, flew along corridors
And explode on film and everyone goes 'aw!'

And you read the stories about how no-one's killed
And I think about the photos that I kept
To remind me that it was all for real
And the ghost that I've become will be released
To the sands still shifting that cover all the lies
About what really happened and who really died.
Was it really worth it?
Was it worth the cost?
Did we really take the high ground or have we lost
all the moral battles, did we lose the war?
Mr President I need to know for sure
That with all this knowledge, all this control
That we were on the right side after all
That we weren't lied to, that we weren't used
And the country that we fought for still upholds the truth.

Mr President you don't know my name
But you can find it if you really cared
It's on a black wall, it's on a cross of stone
In the Balkan States, the Gulf and close to home
On not so foreign islands, out on city streets
Mr President, just tell me why I'm here
This is my question, this is my life, this is my address
Mr President
Mr President, Mr President
This is my address, this is my address, this is my address,
Mr President
Mr President
This is my address.

Or, alternatively, a song directly to Bush:



If you really knew how I felt
You wouldn't need to be here asking
Those questions
Those irritating questions, moving in metaphors
Speaking in tongues

Your gunboat diplomacy
You accuse me of heresy, of being irreverent
My opinions irrelevant, when I smile at your similes
When you're speaking in tongues

As we move to a stalemate
You say a contract's a contract
And this is unnegotiable
I question your morality, you question my reality
You're speaking in tongues

We are speaking in tongues
We are speaking in tongues
Am I deaf because I cannot comprehend?
We're speaking in tongues
We're speaking in tongues
We're speaking in tongues
Though I try I just cannot understand

Your entrenched opinions
On the border of arrogance
Dug in against the compromise
A position indefensible, your actions illogical
You're speaking in tongues

You swear contradictions
Your tedious monologues, wielding authority
Demanding subservience, demanding I make your sense
Demanding speaking in tongues

We are speaking in tongues
We are speaking in tongues
Am I deaf because I cannot comprehend?
We're speaking in tongues
We're speaking in tongues
We're speaking in tongues
Though I try I just cannot understand

I can't imagine a world, especially post 9-11, where I could dislike the leader of our nation so much. I disliked Bill Clinton as a man. I though he was an ass, and any woman who was shackled to him the most unlucky woman alive, but Bush... All Bush seems to inspire in me lately is depression. I think the only thing more depressing than the fact that our nation is run by such a colossal stumblebum is the fact that Americans voted for him a second time.


halloweenlover said...

Hear hear. The words to those songs are pretty chilling. How appropriate these days.

liz said...

That slightly more than half of the people who voted, voted for him is NOT as depressing as the fact that only slightly more than half the people eligible to vote, voted AT ALL.


Running2Ks said...

I can see why you have the obsession. That is some powerful and direct stuff. Wish Dumbya was smart enough to listen.

ccw said...

Great songs! I'm in agreement with you, Clinton was sleazy, but he didn't inspire depression; Bush just makes me want to crawl in to a hole for the next few years.

RussianViolets said...

Never thought about it that way, but it works.

KLee said...

RV -- never thought of what that way? I'm curious.

ccw -- I agree that Clinton scored off the charts on the sleaze factor, but Bush just makes me feel...oh, I don't even know. Ashamed, partly. Sad: yes. Angry: OH, yes. Afraid: sort of -- I'm more worried at what state our nation will be in when he's done with it.

Liz, you're right. I've been thinking that apathy is even more insidious than outright deception in some cases. It really boggles the mind that people can't be arsed to even vote for the leader of our nation. and to think that people *died* for that right! Sadly, this last election had a fairly decent turnout in comparison with some previous elections. Makes me despair.

I never really gave much thought to the whole idea of the "Good Old Boy" network, thinking surely we were too enlightened in this day and age for all that rot, but once Bush was moving in to the White House, it became apparent (very quickly) that not only was the GOB network still alive, but it was thriving.