Monday, August 5, 2013

The Silence That Shouts Out Loud

Those who Marched to Praetoria wondering Where All the Flowers Had Gone; who heard what was Blowin' in the Wind and understood that a Hard Rain Was Gonna Fall; who knew the slough where the Big Fool Said Push On; who tried to Give Peace a Chance while the Dogs of War Ran  Loose; who Quit Followin' and said, "I Ain't Gonna March No More" -- those folks are puzzled and pained by the dreadful silence around them.

Where are the songs of protest in this, their nation's direst hour?

Why is no Ode to Bradley Manning being sung and strummed in smokey clubs and at angry rallies?

Why did the revelations of Ed Snowden not inspire barbed choruses of bitter dissent to be sung in the public square?

Why do those who march for justice for Trayvon Martin have no anthem to mark their steps, no buglers to sound their battle cry?

How can a president assume the right to murder citizens on his own authority without someone giving us a thundering j'accuse to sing from the mountaintops?

Why is there not one satirical music maker to decry the criminal incompetence and meanness of those we have elected to govern us?

Why is there no musical champion for our growing legion of poor and jobless?

Why do we not realize that We Did Not Overcome, and street-compose a new song to march to in the struggle to make a decent nation out of a sick one?

When will new rhythms and rhymes demand justice for our beleaguered immigrants and their starving children?

Who will raise his voice with the first song to demand the restoration of our civil liberties,the end of our corporate dictatorship, the reversal of endless war, the enslavement of the many for the profit of the few?

Songs of protest and revolution have always been part of great movements in human history.

Their absence in the United States today my be the most telling symptom of the nation's malaise and,therefor, its grim fate.

We got the the Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die blues. But the wars and ignorance drag on, and the chasm widens between the very rich few and the ever-poorer masses.

How many times must the cannon balls fly, before they're forever banned?

It's windy as hell today, but I don't see any answers blowin' around.