Sunday, June 18, 2006

Just a Number -- Final Cut, 18 June, 2006


This is the final cut of the text started on the Friday morning train to Copenhagen and was finished in a little red cottage I have around noon, Sunday. The melody is just about down pat also. It starts like "On Top of Old Smokey, but then goes other ways. This is the first time I've pulled a song down this quickly and easily in a decade at least. The last song I finished before this, Tickling the Dragon's Tail, was 15 years in gestation before it fell out of my hat last month.

To be fair (it's best to be fair, but not be obsessive about it) Mr. Snow did not actually say, "That's just a number" (that is if the transcripts are to be trusted, which, believe me, they are not!). On the other hand, the phrase captures the tone and meaning of the graf where whatever he actually said was said. In any case, the phrase used here fits the meter pefectly and besides I'm a poet and I got me a poet's license, so cut me some slack.

Just a Number (final cut, 18 June 2006 Chuck Cliff)

Two thousand five hundred flown home in a box,
but, “That’s just a number” said the bastard from Fox!
Two thousand five hundred fresh graves in white rows…
but, “That’s just a number”, says Mr. Snow.

Two thousand five hundred, lives thrown away,
but, “That’s just a number”, we all heard him say.
Two thousand five hundred names to write on a Wall,
but, “That’s just a number”, as if that was all.

Two thousand five hundred, cut down in their prime
but, “That’s just a number” what a helluva line!
Two thousand five hundred times how many more,
but, “That’s just a number” sneers the media whore!

Two thousand five hundred and many more maimed,
bodies & minds broken, driven insane…
Two thousand five hundred, names burn in my mind,
brothers and sisters, are we deaf are we blind?

Two thousand five hundred fists full of red sand
can you tell me why monsters are running our land?
For WE are the people and this land is our land,
and we’re not just numbers, like dollars to spend!

Brothers and sisters, please let us join hands,
with all of our numbers we can take back our land!
Brothers and sisters, please let us join hands,
with all of our numbers we can take back our land!

2 comments:

myjournal said...

Hello Chuck,

I never thought someone would read such a long rant. Thank you.

It sounded like you have some interest on psychology, so do I.

The story that you have on your profile meant a lot to me "...your country, either leave it or love it..." I can relate to that.

I hope things are well in Denmark,

me.

Chuck Cliff said...

Well, it was a rant with a good fistful of stream of consciousness -- hope it made you feel better.

Well, actually, it was "love it or leave it" -- they had billboards with it, next to "Jesus Saves" and "Did YOU go to church last Sunday?" on benches at busstops.

Things are well in Denmark, but the present Prime Minister is sort of a Bush-Lite fellow...