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Little Drummer Boy

  • (Michael MacConnell)

    I'm the minister for justice
    In a sad divided land
    Surrounded by rebellion
    Discontent on every hand
    You can see it in men's faces
    As they draw their weekly dole
    With their eyes as bleak as bullets
    And black murder in their soul
    So we'll have to blind the ferryman
    Break the piper's hands
    Lock up all those poets
    That the people understand
    There's a dangerous wind a-blowing
    Through this sad divided land
    And it's time to kill
    The little drummer boy

    You see, the poets and the singers
    Are like drummer boys of yore
    Who helped to raise the banners
    And lead foolish men to war
    Little boys in scarlet uniforms
    To keep the troops in step
    Up to the muzzles of the cannons
    On their one-way march to death
    So we'll have to blind the ferryman
    Break the piper's hands
    And lock up all those singers
    That the people understand
    There's a dangerous wind a-blowing
    Through this sad divided land
    And it's time to kill
    The little drummer boy

    It doesn't matter who's in power
    At any given time
    If we want freedom and democracy
    We'll have to toe the line
    The poor are always with us
    On that we're all agreed
    And the sooner they realise it
    Then the happier they'll be
    So we'll have to blind the ferryman
    Break the piper's hands
    And lock up all those painters
    That the people understand
    There's a dangerous wind a-blowing
    Through this sad divided land
    And it's time to kill
    The little drummer boy

    There were drummer boys in Chile
    In El Salvador and France
    South Africa, the Philippines
    You can hear them sound 'advance'
    In Yugoslavia, in Ireland
    Behind the Berlin Wall
    You know those little drummer boys
    They would crucify us all
    So we'll have to blind the ferryman
    Break the piper's hands
    And lock up all those writers
    That the people understand
    There's a dangerous wind a-blowing
    Through this sad divided land
    And it's time to kill
    The little drummer boy

    Yes I'm the minister for justice
    In this sad divided land
    Surrounded by rebellion
    Discontent on every hand
    So I'll have to bring in stricter laws
    Make sure they know it's wrong
    To force rebellion in poetry
    In painting and in song
    So we'll have to blind the ferryman
    Break the piper's hands
    And lock up all those people
    That the people understand
    There's a dangerous wind a-blowing
    Through this sad divided land
    And it's time to kill
    The little drummer boy

    (as sung by Iain MacKintosh)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  •  [1993:] It seems to me that whenever there is oppression in any country, among the first people to be oppressed are the artistic people, the writers, the poets and the painters. This is a song about that. It's one of the most ironical songs I know. (Intro Iain MacKintosh)

  •  [1998:] Wir iranischen Schriftsteller, Journalisten, Künstler und Intellektuelle [sic!] bemühen uns schon lange um mehr Rede- und Meinungsfreiheit. Deshalb wurden wir auch die ersten Opfer der Despotie [der Mullahs]. (Schriftsteller Faradsch Sarkuhi zu den Morden an mehreren Kollegen in den letzten Monaten, Spiegel, 27. April)

  •  [1998:] 'Music is probably the most censored of all art forms.' So claims the free-speech magazine Index on Censorship, whose latest edition is devoted to the subject. From the murder of musicians by Islamic militants in Algeria to the Chinese authorities' concerns about the spiritual pollution caused by popular music, via the BBC telling British DJs not to cause offence when playing records during the Gulf War, the story of the censorship of music is as compelling as it is occasionally farcical. [...] For many years anti-censorship groups have defended the rights of authors and journalists, but there has hitherto been less activity on behalf of censored musicians. [...] Topics for censorship are the expected ones: politics, sex, drugs, and general offence. [...] That censorship can have its farcical side is important. One of the reasons Mary Whitehouse failed is that she became a figure of fun. But it also has its deadly serious side, and those who wish to censor music are themselves testament to its power. One of Pinochet's goons cut off the hands of folk singer Victor Jara before killing him in the Santiago football stadium in 1975. Musicians in Afghanistan and Algeria still face death simply for being musicians. Meanwhile, in the west, neo-Nazis spread their hatred via pop. (Martin Cloonan, author of 'Banned! Censorship of Popular Music in Britain, 1967-1992', Observer, 8 Nov)

  •  [1998:] [Federico García Lorca's] remains one of the emblematic lives of the twentieth century - a reminder that politicians, given the chance, will sentence poets to death, just because they tell the truth. (Peter Conrad, review of Leslie Stainton, 'Lorca: A Dream of Life', Observer, 20 Dec)

  •  [1999:] Musiker leben gefährlich: Nachdem der algerische Musiker Lounes Matoub bereits mehrfach inhaftiert, entführt und mißhandelt worden war, fand man im Juni letzten Jahres östlich von Algier seine Leiche - von 78 Gewehrschüssen durchsiebt. Als wichtigstes Sprachrohr der Berber-Minderheit war Matoub [...] den Islamisten und dem Regime in Algier gleichermaßen verhaßt. Doch Gewalt und Repressalien gegen unliebsame Musiker gibt es nicht nur in Algerien - wie die jetzt in Kopenhagen gegründete internationale Menschenrechtsgruppe Freemuse ("Free Musical Expression") beklagt. [...] Denn während etwa die Fatwa gegen den Schriftsteller Salman Rushdie weltweite Aufmerksamkeit erregte, fanden Zensur und Einschüchterung von Musikern im Namen einer Religion oder Staatsräson bisher wenig Beachtung. Aufgaben für Freemuse gibt es auch in demokratischen Ländern. So erstellte die BBC während des Golfkriegs eine interne schwarze Liste mit unerwünschten Popsongs. Legendär ist der Fall eines britischen DJs, der seinen Job verlor, als er wenige Tage vor dem Bombardement gegen den Irak Friedenslieder spielte. (Spiegel, 29 Nov)

Quelle: Ireland

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