After a period of confusion where musicians mostly babbled about the war, now the actual SONGS are starting to flow fast and furious. Our James Russell has a nice roundup of anti-war songs here from the Beasties, Zach and DJ Shadow, John Mellonhead, the Billies: Bragg and Joe Armstrong. To those you can add Sonic Youth’s protest song site. [two more anti’s from REM and Mick Jones]
The pro’s are mostly country, with Clint Black joining Toby Keith, Darryl Worley, and the Warren Brothers in the assault on Baghdad.
All this is as it should be: I’d much rather hear songs expressing musician’s opinions than hear them bark a capella. But now I’m pissed because by far the best song to address the matter is anti, and people, I am way pro!
Lenny Kravitz reaches down deep for a funky, Middle Eastern-flavored ode to peace, rather unimaginatively named “We Want Peace.” The rhythm guitar is Stax/AWB sweet and the groove is infectious, but Lenny, buddy, we ALL want peace: I want the kind with American and British military personnel dancing in the streets of Baghdad with the local hotties.
So Lenny perhaps isn’t all that profound, but the song rocks the rectum and the Iraqi seasoning is cooking with spice:
- Rock the Vote and Lenny Kravitz today announced a new song by Kravitz called ” We Want Peace,” which will be available exclusively at Rock the Vote’s website. http://www.rockthevote.org/
The song, which says, “There won’t be peace if we don’t try” is an urgent call from Lenny Kravitz for America to be a peaceful leader in the world. Kravitz wrote the song and performed it with Kadim Al Sahir, Iraq’s #1 pop music artist, who is better known as the Iraqi Diplomatic Ambassador of the world and a true legend of Arabic Music. In addition, the song features Palestinian musician Simon Shaheen on strings and Lebanese artist Jamey Hadded on percussion.
“I came to Rock the Vote because of its strong stance with young people as defenders of free expression,” said Lenny Kravitz. “This song for me is about more than Iraq; It is about our role as people in the world and that we all should cherish freedom and peace.” [Rock the Vote]
I am concerned that Rock the Vote – which exists to encourage young people to vote and participate in democracy – would take a stand that will divide their ostensible constituents. Their statement on the matter:
- Rock the Vote praised Kravitz for speaking his mind about the importance of peace and issued a call to action for young people to work for peace and defend free expression. Noting that artists, actors, activists, journalists and the world’s people have come under attack for their views on the war, Rock the Vote re-affirmed its commitment to supporting those who have the courage to speak out — and to mobilizing young people to shape the future of our world. Rock the Vote’s website, where the song will be released, also urges visitors to register to vote and to join the Rock the Vote Community Street Teams, which will be organizing “free expression” events and rallies in dozens of cities across the country in the coming weeks.
Pro-war people have come under equally vehement attack. Will RTV’s “free expression” also include pro-liberation voices?
- Jehmu Greene, Rock the Vote’s executive director, said “Lenny Kravitz is a true patriot, and Rock the Vote is proud to support his artistic expression. We are here to rally young people to their sacred duty as patriotic Americans to speak out and participate in our democracy. To all the young people who might feel intimidated in the present political environment, pay attention to what Lenny Kravitz is doing. He is leading in this difficult time and so can you.”
According to Ms. Greene, “Rock the Vote supports the young men and women in our military whose lives are now at risk. We hope the war will come to a swift conclusion with minimum loss of human life and that we can move on to build a better future for the Iraqi people. The millions of young people who hear this song should take Kravitz’ message to heart and stand up for what they believe. As Lenny Kravitz says, ‘we’re at the crossroads,’ and we need to defend democracy right now here at home.”
Again, does “standing up for what one believes” include equally hearfelt pro-liberation opinions? Who doesn’t agree with this: “We hope the war will come to a swift conclusion with minimum loss of human life and that we can move on to build a better future for the Iraqi people”?
But what if it isn’t swift? Should we just quit?
And what is “minimum loss of human life”? 5, 50, 500, 5000? We’re in it now – my main concern is with the Allies and the civilians. At this point, I don’t give a fig about the Iraqi military: this is war and I want to win as quickly and DECISIVELY as possible, and if that means dead Iraqi soldiers, so be it. If they won’t quit, they’ll have to be killed.
Then I want peace, just like Lenny. Rock on with your bad self Lenny, I love ya.