Monday Mood

I can’t recall which of you introduced me to this musician/song, but – thank you.

This has been stuck in my head since I read about the military imbeciles who were flying helicopters close to a crowd of protesters to scare them.

Here comes the helicopter — second time today
Everybody scatters and hopes it goes away
How many kids they’ve murdered only God can say
If I had a rocket launcher… I’d make somebody pay

I don’t believe in guarded borders and I don’t believe in hate
I don’t believe in generals or their stinking torture states
And when I talk with the survivors of things too sickening to relate
If I had a rocket launcher… I would retaliate

On the Rio Lacantun, one hundred thousand wait
To fall down from starvation — or some less humane fate
Cry for guatemala, with a corpse in every gate
If I had a rocket launcher… I would not hesitate

I want to raise every voice — at least I’ve got to try
Every time I think about it water rises to my eyes.
Situation desperate, echoes of the victims cry
If I had a rocket launcher… Some son of a bitch would die

I love the line “I don’t believe in guarded borders and I don’t believe in hate / I don’t believe in generals or their stinking torture states”

One thing you know for sure is that the protesters were peaceful, or the helicopters would have never dared fly in so close. Remember what happened to the black hawk that flew within range of ground-fire in Mogadishu? That was America’s “Charge of the Light Brigade” moment, when they made that clusterfuck into a movie and made the idiots who were responsible for starting a massive gun-battle in a city into heroes. The black hawk at Mogadishu was brought down with a round from an RPG rocket propelled grenade – a rocket launcher.

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I know a person who is unwilling to admit that they have never heard of a musician or a song or such-and-such. It’s really strange: “Hey, have you ever had that dish Ferran Adria invented, the potato chip omlette?” “Oh, yeah, sure!” etc. To me, it seems perfectly reasonable that there are great books, songs, musicians, performances, dishes, that I have never encountered. In part, I assume that’s because there are some areas where I don’t search for new stuff – I’m too busy mining new stuff elsewhere. And once you start mining new stuff you realize that there is a whole hell of a lot of stuff! Speaking of which, I got a CD of Russian disco music from the late 80s and it’s completely kick-ass stuff.


  1. sonofrojblake says

    It blew my mind when I discovered “Maggot Brain”. It’s EXACTLY my kind of thing, and I was nearly fifty before I heard OF it, let alone heard it.

    I*like* it when I find stuff like that – your youth is (out should be) full of those moments of discovery, and they get rarer and more precious with age.

  2. kestrel says

    I always loved this song. I remember going to an air show – they should have a different name for those, a huge waste of energy trying to impress people, or something. Anyway an army guy is standing there with a rocket launcher, very proudly showing it to people. I mentioned the song to him but it completely went over his head, he had just never heard of it. But he did impress on me that I, too, could learn how to run a rocket launcher and I had to wonder at his imperviousness to reality. I mean… if **I** can learn to use it…. dude…..

  3. DonDueed says

    Bruce Cockburn is not only a great singer and songwriter with a social conscience — he’s also an absolutely top-shelf guitarist. In this clip, for example, he’s playing some licks *while singing* that a lot of us hacks would love to be able to do while giving our full concentration.

    Thanks, Canada.

  4. GenghisFaun says

    I know I’ve posted about this song somewhere, but my memory is so bad I can’t say if it was here. It is one of the most moving songs I’ve ever heard.

  5. Ridana says

    The entire Stealing Fire album is a treasure. I’ve always loved this song, but it’s so disheartening. It was first released in 1984, and it’s as relevant today as it was then. Nothing’s changed. Or as Bruce says, “the trouble with normal is it always gets worse.”
    I think “Call It Democracy” could use a revival too (probably the only song ever written about the IMF).
    Padded with power here they come
    International loan sharks backed by the guns
    Of market hungry military profiteers
    Whose word is a swamp and whose brow is smeared
    With the blood of the poor
    Who rob life of its quality
    Who render rage a necessity
    By turning countries into labour camps
    Modern slavers in drag as champions of freedom
    Sinister cynical instrument
    Who makes the gun into a sacrament —
    The only response to the deification
    Of tyranny by so-called “developed” nations’
    Idolatry of ideology
    North South East West
    Kill the best and buy the rest
    It’s just spend a buck to make a buck
    You don’t really give a flying fuck
    About the people in misery
    IMF dirty MF
    Takes away everything it can get
    Always making certain that there’s one thing left
    Keep them on the hook with insupportable debt
    See the paid-off local bottom feeders
    Passing themselves off as leaders
    Kiss the ladies shake hands with the fellows
    Open for business like a cheap bordello
    And they call it democracy
    And they call it democracy
    And they call it democracy
    And they call it democracy
    See the loaded eyes of the children too
    Trying to make the best of it the way kids do
    One day you’re going to rise from your habitual feast
    To find yourself staring down the throat of the beast
    They call the revolution

  6. GenghisFaun says

    Ridana @ 7

    I know of one other anti-IMF song by Thievery Corporation featuring Femi Kuti (son of Fela) called Vampires. It is a great jam, musically, and is full of righteous indignation, lyrically. Highly recommended. Cheers!

  7. says

    Rob Grigjanis (#5) –

    I saw the post but didn’t want to toot my own horn.

    DonDueed (#3) –

    Richard Thompson is a better guitar player, but nowhere near as political (though “Mother Knows Best” is one hell of a song). But both came from the same early 1970s folk-rock era.

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