Junior Chills – For Palestine (original)
A few weeks ago I was asked to play a song by Woody Guthrie called ‘Deportees’. I had not heard of the song never mind played it before but I tried my hand at it and, I think, it went down well. The song stuck with me as it was based on a true story so I decided to put my own lyrics to the music of another true story. The story of Palestine. Guthrie’s song was a protest song…this, I suppose, is my own protest song to the injustice and plight of the Palestinians at the hand of Israel.
The songs basis comes from a quote I read from Chairman Heilbrun of the Committee for the Re-election of General Shlomo Lahat, the mayor of Tel Aviv, in October 1983. The quote reads “We have to kill all the Palestinians unless they are resigned to live here as slaves.” This quote has, obviously, caused quite a lot of controversy especially in regards to its authenticity. I have researched into it but I could not find anything to suggest that it was not said. It is important to note that because one person said it does not ring true for everyone else.
The chorus is made up of people who have died in Palestine due to attacks from Israel. The people are:
Mohammad Abu Khadeir – 16 years old, died in July 2014
Nasser Abu Maraheel – 42 years old, died in September 2003
Mohammad Ibrahim Ar Reyati – September 2008
Bassem Hassan Hijazi – 36 years old, died August 2014
I have also tried to incorporate Arabic, the Palestinian language, into the song by including ‘ma salama’ which means ‘goodbye’. I am saying goodbye and farewell to Khadeir, Maraheel, Ar Reyati, Hijazi and the hundreds and thousands more who have died, injustly, at the hands of Israel.
I have put this song up during an important, historical time for Ireland and its connection with Palestine. What Ireland has (and still is) been subjected to by Britain, so too is Palestine experiencing by Israel. I allude in the song to bias coverage of the war which has been waged upon Palestinians and I hope that via this protest song, people may read a little more into what is happening and question the ‘news’ which is being propagated by mainstream media.
Just a quick note on the video for the song. It is a mixture of footage and still images. The footage represents hope for life in Palestine. It also marks the disparity between life as we are, maybe, used to and life which Palestinians face on a daily basis. The still images reflect the true picture of life in Palestine.
Not that I want people to like the song or messages conveyed in it, but more to appreciate the protest and awareness raising nature of it.