Sunday, November 18, 2007

"Brothers In Arms"

It is Saturday afternoon here on the left coast and I have been thinking through themes of struggle and resistance as I make progress on my more academic based work.

Last week I made a mental note to listen to "Brothers in Arms" by Dire Straights again. The power conveyed evokes images of struggle and resistance for the homeland.

In the years that have passed I have come to understand that homeland is not necessarily only a place. It is for me also an inclusive space of structural deliverance from conquest and injustice.

Take a listen to this classic and see if you feel the tribute to resistance and struggle. And in this case solidarity, universality, and the brutality of war.

The lyrics are worth every note:
These mist covered mountains
Are a home now for me
But my home is the lowlands
And always will be
Some day you'll return to
Your valleys and your farms
And you'll no longer burn
To be brothers in arms

Through these fields of destruction
Baptisms of fire
I've witnessed your suffering
As the battles raged higher
And though they did hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms

There's so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones

Now the sun's gone to hell
And the moon's riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
But it's written in the starlight
And every line on your palm
We're fools to make war
On our brothers in arms



Erica said...

Brothers in Arms was Dire Straights best selling albums back in 85. It was pure genius. Mark Knopfler's voice carries like no other. The album was well recieved but the band will always be known for "Money for Nothing" which MTV used. Now when you hear something from Dire Straights, you think MTV which is a shame really because Brothers in Arms and So Far Away From Me is two of the best songs on the album.

The song is very fitting to the time we currently live in.

10,000 Maniacs's "Hateful Hate" is one of the most beautifully written songs off of their Blind Man's Zoo album. It pisses you off but if you listen closly you get what Natalie Merchant is trying to say:

In the dark night a giant slumbered untouched for centuries 'til
by a white man's cry: "This is the Eden I was to find." There were
lands to
be charted and to be claimed for a crown, when a hero was made by the
he could stay in this dangerous land of hateful hate.
Curiosity filled the heads of these, there was an upper room they had
see. Curiosity killed the best of these for a hero's hometown
Still they moved on and on.
Who came building missions? Unswerving men of the cloth who gave their
in numbers untold so that black sheep entered the fold. Captured like
livestock, destined for slavery. Naked, walked to the shore where
great ships
moored for the hellbound journies. Bought and sold with a hateful
Curiosity filled the breasts of these with some strange ecstasy.
killed the best of these by robbing their lives of dignity. Still they
on and on.
Calling men of adventure for a jungle bush safari. Come conquer the,
claws and teeth. See death in his eyes to know you're alive.
European homesteads grew up in the colonies with civilized plans for
hinterlands, their guns and God willing. Such a hateful hate.
Curiosity spilled the blood of these for their spotted skins and
Curiosity filled the heads of these madmen with the lies of destiny.
spilled the blood of these, then blotted their lives from history.
filled the heads of these, one man claimed all that he could see.
still entices these madmen with a lusting and a greed. Their legacy,

nunya said...

I'm on my fourth copy of their first album :)

For some reason I never took a shine to their later stuff. Maybe it was because I discoverd blues and what I call "elevator Jazz"

Ridwan said...

Hey there Erica. Thanks for the comment and yeah the "the money for nothing" song is the handle.

I did not know about the 10k maniacs song. As I read the lyrics I kept thinking .... 'hhhhmmm colonial bastards' :0)

Gonna look it up and see if I have just overlooked it as usual.

Here's wishing you a peaceful and blessed Sunday.


Ridwan said...

Nunya you crack me up. Somehow I cannot see you taking a liking to elevator jazz ... the Dave Grusin type "easy jazz" ... hmmmmm.

Don't get soft now ... just jiving Nunya :0)

I am not a big fan of Dire Straights. This tune being perhaps the only one I like a lot.

Knopfler is a great guitarist in his genre no doubt. But when I think electric guitar I think Gerorge Benson and Jonathan Butler .... ummmmm did I just go "elevator" on you sista?


Peace Nunya :0)