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Monday, August 6

The American War (a song by Simone White)

Liz, I couldn't help but think of this new song - The American War, by Simone White, when I read "Today's Quote" on the blog this morning:

"The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do."
Samuel P. Huntington

Here's a little background about the song From the-raft:
"an unusually elegant protest song featuring White accompanying herself on guitar, backed by cello, piano, delicate brass and the odd cymbal clash. It has, according to MOJO, “an intimate prettiness concealing within the rosebud the thorns of subtly articulated political protest”.

“The title came from a conversation I had with a Vietnamese guy who was talking about what went on during “the American War”. At first I didn’t know what he meant but when I realised I couldn’t believe I hadn't understood. Of course! The Vietnamese wouldn't call that war the Vietnam War. The US has all these wars with different names but around the world there are the American Wars.” Simone White

Honest Jon's Records has a brief listen you can sample (and a great story about the recording), and there is another longer sampling you can catch at Youtube. It's a pretty cool experimental animation video done by Albert Reyes who did the cover artwork for her new album 'I am The Man'.

I first learned of this song via Sean over at mainstreamisntsobad: "The American War is a protest song that is amazingly cutting for having such seemingly light lyrics"

PLEASE PLEASE play it again Sean!

and since I can't get my hands on the album or the lyrics in the USA yet, these are the lyrics as I hear them:

Do you remember
the American war?
It wasn't that long ago
it was fought on every shore.

Are you trying
to tell me
that you didn't know?
I saw you reading the paper
at the corner store
yes I know......

that's a joke.

Did you ever think you lived inside the belly of the beast?
Are you gaming at something nice to eat
or are you waiting for your very own special treat.....

we like to live on easy street.

Do you remember all the people we bombed.
All the homes that were there that are now gone.
Whoever told you that life was fair.....

People have to die
over there.

Did you ever think this was the greatest country in the world?
With freedom and democracy and SUV's called Liberty
for every boy and girl?

The oyster chokes on it's own pearl.....

We know you can't help where you were born.
It's not that you're foreign
it's what you stand for.
We know it's hard to start a revolt-- the revolution's won.....

but no one claims it.

Do you remember the American war?
We thought it was fun
but it was a bore.
Do you remember the American war

We forgot what we were fighting for.

Crossposted at BigBrassBlog

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