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Monday, August 06, 2007

"Put Down That Weapon"

This weekend I was looking through my CD collection for something to listen to that I hadn't heard in awhile, something rockin'. I saw Midnight Oil's Diesel and Dust in the stack and thought, yup that's it, and popped it in the player. That album rocks alright, but it also brings home just how badly things have unraveled since that CD came out. "How can we dance when our beds are burning," indeed.

The next song on that album, Put Down That Weapon, is even more poignant in light of recent events. The song begins:


Under the waterline
no place to retire
to another time
the eyes of the world now turn


And continues in the chorus, "some things don't come for free..."

But of course, this song isn't overtly about bridges and infrastructure that people don't want to pay taxes to maintain, until their own loved ones are victims of a disaster. It's more plainly an anti-war song: "put down that weapon, or we'll all be gone" ... or perhaps it is just anti-violence, like the violence of a city like Philadelphia where one teenager guns down another because the latter didn't move his bicycle out of a parking space quickly enough ... but either way, it sure resonates these days.

Put down that weapon, y'all...let's pick up the tools of construction instead of destruction for a change. It won't come for free, but where would you rather see the money spent?






Under the waterline
no place to retire
to another time
the eyes of the world now turn

And if we think about it
and if we talk about it
and if the skies go dark with rain
can you tell me does our freedom remain

Put down that weapon or we'll all be gone
you can't hide nowhere with the torchlight on
and it happens to be an emergency
some things aren't meant to be
some things don't come for free

Above the waterline
point the finger yeah point the bone
it's the harbour towns
that the grey battleships call home
and if we think about it
and if we talk about it
and if the sea goes boiling black
can you tell me what we'll do about that

Put down that weapon or we'll all be gone
I must know something to know it's so wrong
and it happens to be an emergency
some things aren't meant to be
some things don't come for free

They keep talking about it
they keep talking

Put down that weapon or we'll all be gone
you must be crazy if you think you're strong

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