Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Shadow On A Wall

I wrote this song for David Rovics. He liked it. If he ever gets around to recording it, I may paint illustrations to go with the words and music. Or I might even do it if nobody sings it, ever. Not being capable of singing better than a cicada, I can't, anyway.


Keiko on a summer day, skipping down the street
Met her friend Kenji, they talked about sweets
How much they missed them, and how much they'd eat
When the war was over.

Silver fish in the silver sky
Finger on a button, death from on high
Atoms blasted to pieces, their agonised scream
Making energies that were someone's dream
And Keiko is a shadow on a wall
Shadow on a wall.
Nothing left at all
But a shadow on a wall.

Far across the sea, men in suits and uniforms
Talk over tea and cake about creating firestorms

Of might and right, of power and race
How Stalin had to be put in his place,
And Keiko is a shadow on a wall
A shadow on a wall
Nothing left of her at all
But a shadow on a wall.

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the names you say
Did not save Thanh in Vietnam from burning the  same way
Nuclear fire or napalm, it was the same
And it seems nobody is to blame
And Keiko and Thanh are shadows on a wall
Nothing left of them, left of them at all

Arifa in Fallujah, Bushra in Mosul
Irina in Beograd, Hanifa in Kabul
Silver bombs from silver planes, and they went in a flash
Not more than shadows on a wall
Just shadows on a wall
Nothing left of them, left of them at all.

Tomorrow whose daughter will skip down the street
The world laid out at her young feet
And there will be a flash, from somewhere far away
Born of decisions made some other day.
And she will be a shadow on a wall
Like Keiko and her sisters, nothing left at all
Just a shadow on a wall
A shadow on a wall
A shadow on a wall.

Copyright B Purkayastha 2020

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