(en) Ken Saro-Wiwa -- a song

ACT for Disarmament (act@web.net)
Sun, 21 Sep 1997 18:16:14 -0400 (EDT)


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Date: Sun, 21 Sep 1997 09:07:05 -0500 From: john klotz <jklotz@walrus.com> Subject: The Ballad of Ken Saro-Wiwa

The execution of environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight of his associates remains a continued grievance of both the environmental community and those seeking justice for indigenous peoples.=20

Last night at a concert sponsored by the NYC Friends of Clearwater my daughter Lisa debuted "Once a River" (the Ballad of Ken Saro-Wiwa). She w= as backed up by an eight person ensemble. Because of the fine reception the song received and the numerous requests of other singers for the lyrics, = I am enclosing a copy of the lyrics which may be freely used for live performance (but not commercially recorded and distributed without furthe= r permission of the composer) If any one wishes the music, it can be made available (probably a tape in the short run). If anyone does use the song for performance purposes, the composer requests that his name be mentione= d as well as his affiliation with the Sierra Club.

It's my opinion that one of the most powerful tools any movement can use = is song. To those who don't understand that, or regard song as a frivolous distraction, my sympathy.

Once a River

by John Klotz

Once a river, flowed gently to the sea. Through a delta, greener than green should be. Now, in the delta,=20 a people struggle to be free. And Ken Saro-Wiwa, died for you and me.

He was a poet,=20 and he wrote his peoples=92 song. He was a leader, who spoke against the wrong. So they killed him, because his Word was so strong. Ken Saro-Wiwa, died for you and me.

(First Bridge)

They took gold from Shell Oil. =20 They took gold to spoil,=20 the Niger delta where the =20 Ogoni toil. Ken left them no choice. when he raised his voice, and the people joined=20 Ken in ju-bi-le-e.

First they chained him, but he would not stay bound. Then they starved him, still he rose up from the ground. So they hanged him, and eight friends around. Ken Saro-Wiwa, died for you and me.

(Second Bridge)

=93Lord take may soul, but the struggle continues,=94=20 those were his last words on that day. It was their plan,=20 to silence a man, but his words will never die a-wa-a-ay.=20

Come my brothers, dance away your fears. Come my sisters, dance away your tears. He=92ll be with us, as we struggle through the years,=20

Ken Saro-Wiwa,=20 lives in you and me.

(Slowly). Ken Saro-Wiwa,=20 lives eternally.

copyright, 1997, John Klotz, NYC

JOHN KLOTZ http://www.walrus.com/~jklotz/ 885 Third Avenue, Suite 2900 New York, NY 10022 (212) 230-2162 (718) 601-2044=20

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