Where have all the lions gone, music video


This 26 May 2015 music video is called Where have all the lions gone.

From Lion Aid:

Where Have All The Lions Gone? Words by Revd Lynne Chitty, music and vocals by Kerst

26 May 2015

The Reverend Lynne Chitty has written the most moving words to express the emotion we are all feeling as we watch the majestic African lion being slaughtered almost to extinction through trophy hunting. Lions are paying a terrible price for man’s desire to kill lions for sport, from both wild lion hunting and from the hideously cruel canned lion hunting. We can no longer sit back and do nothing………

She asked Kerst, a singer/songwriter if he could compose some music to accompany her words……

Between them, they have produced the most poignant song.

WHERE HAVE ALL THE LIONS GONE?

Where have all the lions gone
it seems just yesterday
when roaring could be heard at dusk
and cubs were free to play
Where have all the lions gone
Tell me do you know
Surely they’ve not all been killed
Oh tell me it’s not so
Surely they’ve not all been killed
Oh tell me it’s not so

The plains have all grown silent
Shots are the only sound
Majestic beasts that loved to roam
Lie dead upon the ground
With trophy hunters smiling
Delighted at their kill
Shooting drugged canned lions
For pleasure and at will

Where have all the lions gone
it seems just yesterday
when roaring could be heard at dusk
and cubs were free to play
Where have all the lions gone
Tell me do you know
Surely they’ve not all been killed
Oh tell me it’s not so
Surely they’ve not all been killed
Oh tell me it’s not so

Blood is on the hunters hands
But it is on ours too
If we don’t speak out in protest
And do all we can do
There’s just too many people
Taking lands that lions need
We have to find an answer
To mans desires and greed

Where have all the lions gone
it seems just yesterday
when roaring could be heard at dusk
and cubs were free to play
Where have all the lions gone
Tell me do you know
Surely they’ve not all been killed
Oh tell me it’s not so
Surely they’ve not all been killed
Oh tell me its not so
Surely they’ve not all been killed
Oh tell me it’s not so

Earth is home to everyone
To every creature too
We’re entrusted with their welfare
And with their future too
We can all live together
John and Christian showed us how
Love is universal
And love is needed now.

Where have all the lions gone
it seems just yesterday
when roaring could be heard at dusk
and cubs were free to play
Where have all the lions gone
Tell me do you know
Surely they’ve not all been killed
Oh tell me it’s not so

Surely they’ve not all been killed
Oh tell me its not so

Lynne has set up a Just Giving page for all those who would also like to do more to help. Click here to donate.

LionAid are fighting for legislation change to bring about a ban on both wild and canned lion trophy hunting. It is a slow process with many setbacks along the way but slowly we can see the first green shoots of change happening.

All funds raised from this song will go towards this campaign to protect lions from being slaughtered by trophy hunters.

A heartfelt thank you to all of you who contribute to this campaign and of course to Lynne and Kerst for producing the most haunting song to give voice to the overwhelming emotion we are all feeling as the lions die one by one…..

Classical music in the botanical garden


Ragazze Kwartet, 25 May 2015

This cell phone photo shows Dutch classical music group Ragazze Kwartet on 25 May 2015; during a concert in the botanical garden in Leiden.

They played Maurice Ravel‘s string quartet in F major.

This video shows another time when they played that.

The Ragazze Kwartet consists of Rosa Arnold, violin; Jeanita Vriens, violin; Annemijn Bergkotte, viola; and Kirsten Jenson, cello.

Classical and folk rock music


Willem Bodhi in concert, 24 May 2015

On 24 May 2015, Willem Bodhi played guitar and sang, as this cell phone photo shows.

This was an open air concert in the courtyard of the Jean Michelhof in Leiden; built in 1687 for housing elderly French-speaking refugees. The Jean Michelhof is a ‘hofje‘, a courtyard with almshouses around it. There are over thirty hofjes in Leiden. They used to be for elderly people. Today, mainly students and others live there.

Jean Michelhof courtyard, photo by Biccie

This photo shows the Jean Michelhof when the courtyard is empty.

This is a video of Willem Bodhi playing to thousands of people at the Parkpop rock festival in 2014 in The Hague.

In the small Jean Michelhof courtyard, though it was jam-packed, of course far less people could listen. Still, things went well, as the weather was sunny.

One of the songs Willem sang was ‘Here comes the sun‘, originally by George Harrison; with its line ‘It’s all right’. It’s all right with me as well … as long as that sun is not Rupert Murdoch‘s Sun :)

Among Willem’s other songs was another Beatles song, Come Together.

This concert was part of a big series of concerts with various types of music in the hofjes of Leiden, on 23-25 May.

Earlier on 24 May, we had heard another concert, also packed, at the somewhat larger Pieter Loridanshof.

A group of three musicians: Isabel Favilla on recorder and baroque bassoon; Filipa Meneses on viola da gamba; and Giulio Quirici on theorbo played baroque music there.

Innocent prisoner Shaker Aamer still in Guantanamo


This music video says about itself:

3 August 2013

PJ Harvey has released a song to highlight the ongoing detention of the last British resident held inside the US prison at Guantánamo Bay.

The track, called Shaker Aamer was recorded by the Mercury prizewinning songwriter to help maintain pressure to have the 46-year-old, whose family live in south London, released back to Britain.

Aamer has been detained in Guantánamo for more than 11 years, despite being cleared for release in 2007, and remains imprisoned without charge or trial. He has a British wife and his four children — the youngest of whom he has never met — were all born in Britain. They live in Tooting, south London.

The British government has stated repeatedly that it wants him back in the UK and last week, under escalating international pressure, the US announced it is to restart transfers from the prison. Concerns remain, however, that Aamer might be forcibly sent to Saudi Arabia and imprisoned there instead of being reunited with his family in the UK.

Shaker Aamer

No water for three days.
I cannot sleep, or stay awake.

Four months hunger strike.
Am I dead, or am I alive?

With metal tubes we are force fed.
I honestly wish I was dead.

Strapped in the restraining chair.
Shaker Aamer, your friend.

In camp 5, eleven years.
Never Charged. Six years cleared.

They took away my one note pad,
and they refused to give it back.

I can’t think straight, I write, then stop.
Your friend, Shaker Aamer. Lost.

The guards just do what they’re told,
the doctors just do what they’re told.

Like an old car I’m rusting away.
Your friend, Shaker, Guantanamo Bay.

Don’t forget.

© 2013 Hothead Music Ltd.

By Jeremy Corbyn in Britain:

In 2001 Shaker Aamer and his family were happily living in Afghanistan. He was working on building girls’ schools and improving education.

September 2001 came, and with it war on Afghanistan waged by an enormous international coalition and many others.

The US offered enormous sums of money to anyone in Afghanistan who could bring in any foreign nationals who were deemed to be supporters of the Taliban. Shaker was a victim of this, and was sold by various bounty hunters and eventually ended up in Bagram base in Kabul where he was brutally treated, and then sometime later found himself in Guantanamo Bay.

He has never been charged with any offence and never been through any judicial process. He has now been in custody for 14 years.

He has a Saudi passport, but his wife and children are all British and he has permanent residence in Britain. He was cleared for release by the George Bush administration and later re-cleared for release by the Barack Obama presidency, but is still not able to return to his family.

In Guantanamo Bay there have been protests, hunger strikes and a worldwide campaign — 15 British prisoners in Guantanamo Bay have been returned home but Shaker remains in custody.

This issue has been raised by the wonderful Save Shaker Aamer campaign who have been marching, meeting, protesting and demonstrating outside Parliament for a long time and they deserve enormous credit.

Earlier this year John McDonnell formed an all-party parliamentary Shaker Aamer group which immediately attracted 40 MPs of all parties and in March placed a resolution before the House of Commons calling for his return to Britain.

This was agreed by the House of Commons. The Prime Minister has taken the issue up directly with President Obama, and William Hague also raised the subject with his counterpart, Hilary Clinton, when he was foreign secretary.

Early this week I was part of a delegation with two conservative MPs — Andrew Mitchell and David Davis — and one Labour colleague, Andy Slaughter, to lobby the US Senate on the case.

During meetings with Senators John McCain, Dianne Feinstein, Joe Manchin, Patrick Leahy and Dick Durbin, as well as in discussions with the State Department and the Senate Armed Services Committee we demanded Shaker’s release from Guantanamo Bay.

It’s past time this legal void should be closed, and Shaker allowed to return to Britain.

Without campaigning by ordinary people for justice for Shaker, there would never have been a resolution passed by the House of Commons to visit the Senate. It shows the value of protest.

African-American poetess Aja Monet on police bruatality


Aja Monet, Say her name

From the Huffington Post in the USA:

Poet Aja Monet Confronts Police Brutality Against Black Women With #SayHerName

Posted: 05/21/2015 3:32 pm EDT Updated: 05/22/2015 5:59 pm EDT

Melissa Williams,” Aja Monet reads, “Darnisha Harris.” Her voice is strong; it marches along, but it shakes a little, although not from nerves. She’s performing a poem that includes the forgotten names of girls and women who’ve been injured or killed by the police. She finishes forcefully, then pauses, exhales. “Can I do that again?” she asks. “It’s my first time reading it out loud, and … ” she trails off.

Monet had written the poem — a contribution to the #SayHerName campaign, a necessary continuation of the Black Lives Matter movement focusing on overlooked police violence against women — earlier that morning. That evening, she’d read it at a vigil. Now, she was practicing on camera, surprised by the power of her own words.

As a poet, Monet is prolific. She’s been performing both music and readings for some time — at 19, she was the youngest ever winner of New York City’s Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam — and her work has brought her to France, Bermuda and Cuba, from where her grandmother fled, and where she recently learned she still has extended family. Next month, she’ll return to visit them. But first, she wants to contribute to a campaign she believes in.

Though she’s disheartened that a hashtag is necessary to capture people’s attention — “I think #SayHerName is the surface level of the issues but beneath that there is the real question of, ‘Why?’” she says — Monet wields her art to achieve social and political justice. While discussing political poetry with a fellow artist in Palestine, he observed, “Art is more political than politics.” “I feel him,” she says. “I think he’s right.”

Can you explain #SayHerName in your own words?

It is us calling out the lack of attention on women of color also affected by state violence. We recognize the power of our voices and so we raise the spirits of our sisters by daring to utter their names.

A recent Washington Post write-up said it’s difficult to even quantify police brutality against black women. How will #SayHerName honor those whose stories are lost?

I can’t speak for what a hashtag will do in the actual hearts of people but I know that anything worth paying attention to these days in America has to be sold and marketed as if worth buying into. We recognize that the attention span of our generation is so short: How else do we make the issues we care about accessible and also relevant? This is what activism has come to. This is where we are at in the age of the Internet. We must be honest with ourselves about how human interaction is now only affirmed or confronted based on the projected world we live in through screens.

I think #SayHerName is the surface level of the issues, but beneath that there is the real question of “Why?” Why do I need to make saying her name a hashtag for you to pay attention? The goal is to use this as an opportunity to redirect the attention of people, to hopefully get folks researching the names and stories of all the women we’ve lost. To educate themselves so we are all more informed on how policing works. Black women’s bodies are the most policed bodies in this country.

Also, I didn’t read the Washington Post write-up, but it seems silly to me. Like, of course it’s difficult to quantify any brutality against human beings. It’s not more difficult when it comes to black women, I think it’s just easier for us to ignore them because if we acknowledge them then we must acknowledge all of the women affected by violence and brutality, not just by police but by an entire patriarchal, racist system. We keep scratching the surface of these issues and neglecting the root, which is this country never loved black people, and of course that meant black women. We who birth the men they also hate. We are an extension of each other.

What inspired this poem, and what inspires your poetry in general?

I was at an event where I read a poem in solidarity with my Palestinian brothers and sisters, and Eve Ensler was in the audience. We spoke briefly after and she admired the poem I read. I was honored and she gave me her email. I followed up immediately the next day and informed her that if she ever needed a poet at any point, I’d be there, no questions asked.

She responded with this vigil for #SayHerName and asked if I’d be willing to read a poem. I have been meditating on this issue of women of color affected by police brutality, but the poem hadn’t quite come to me yet. I started writing a piece for Rekia Boyd but it just isn’t ready to be done yet. So I woke early the morning of the vigil and forced myself to write this poem. I sat with all the names of the women and I asked them that I may find the words to do justice. They came to me hours before I had to meet with you all to record.

And maybe they’ll change, but the process of inspiration is a strange thing. For the most part I call on my ancestors. Not to be all, “I call on my ancestors,” but it’s true. I know I’m not the only one writing when I write. I also know that more times than not inspiration is subjective. You can find inspiration in anything if you pay attention. If you’re careful enough to notice how divine this world is and we are, to be here together, creating.

Obviously you appreciate overtly political art — why do you think political art can be powerful?

I met an artist in Palestine who said “art is more political than politics.” I feel him. I think he’s right.

I think being an artist, you are in the business of telling it like it is. You create of the world you live in, unapologetically. What that means is you aren’t catering to an eye or group or specific niche so much as your own truth as you see fit. Politicians, on the other hand, are constantly determining their worth and issue relevance based on approval ratings and polls. They are always campaigning, which becomes less about the issues we need to be dealing with and more about who can be bought to speak about what you want them to speak about. It’s an ugly game I want no business in.

Art that addresses the business of politics recognizes its power and influence. It unveils the mask of “politics” and gets to the people we are fighting for. It does the difficult work of reaching people’s hearts and minds. No great change takes place without art. It’s necessary.

Who are some fellow poets you currently admire?

Since we are in the spirit of saying her name, here’s a few names: Jayne Cortez, Wanda Coleman, Carolyn Rodgers, June Jordan, Audre Lorde and, of course, my sister, Phillis Wheatley.

Monet’s two books of poetry, Inner City Chants and Cyborg Ciphers and The Black Unicorn Sings are available online.