Friday, October 08, 2004

This War

Sting is one of my favorite singers, songwriters, theologians, and political commentators. For some reason, I'm just getting around to listening to his 2003 album, Sacred Love and the song, "This War," which was written during the build-up to the Iraq war:

You've got the mouth of a she wolf
Inside the mask of an innocent lamb
You say your heart is all compassion
But there's just a flat line on your cardiogram

Yet you always made a profit baby
If it was a famine or a feast

Yes, I’m the soul of indiscretion,
I was cursed with x-ray vision,
I could see right through all the lies you told,
When you smiled for the television

And you can see the coming battle
And you pray the drums will never cease
And you may win this war that's coming
But would you tolerate the peace?

Investing in munitions
And those little cotton flags
Invest in wooden caskets
In guns and body bags, guns and body bags

Your daddy was a businessman
It always made good sense
You know the war can make you rich my friend
In dollars, pounds and cents

In the temple that was Mammon's
You were ordained the parish priest
Yes you may win this coming battle
But could you tolerate the peace?

Invest in deadly weapons
And those little cotton flags
Invest in wooden caskets
In guns and body bags
You're investing in oppression
Investing in corruption
Invest in every tyranny
And the whole world's destruction

I imagine there's a future
When all the earthly wars are over
You may find yourself just standing there
On the white cliffs of Dover

You may ask, what does it profit a man
To gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul?
Is that your body you see on the rocks below
As the tide begins to roll?

And you invested in this prison
From which you never got released
And you may have won this war we're fighting
But would you tolerate the peace?

There's a war on our democracy
A war on our dissent
There's a war inside religion
And what Jesus might have meant

There's a war on Mother Nature
There's a war upon the seas
There's a war upon the forests
On the birds and the bees

There's a war on education
There's a war on information
There's a war between the sexes
And every nation

There's a war on our compassion
There's a war on understanding
There's a war on love and life itself
And it's war that they're demanding

Make it easy on yourself
And don't do nothing


I really like how this song points out the problems of war profiteering and the religious issues that go into war. What might Jesus have meant? And does this war bring about democracy or curtail it?

You've probably all heard this tune already, but it's worth a listen, as is the whole album.

4 Comments:

Blogger Brian said...

Sarah really likes Sting, too. One line in the song really jumped out at me: "There's a war on our compassion." Bush said yesterday (as best as I can remember it), "John Kerry is a tax-and-spend liberal. I'm a compassionate conservative." After trying to hold back a stream of vulgarity, I wondered what the word "compassionate" means to him? This war is anything but compassionate. Bush's policies towards the poor, the sick, the marginalized are anything but compassionate.

He's a compassionate conservative if you happen to be filthy rich. But maybe I'm just being judgemental. Don't the filthy rich deserve some compassion too?

Which reminds me of something else. You know how their is "Administrative Professionals Day"? I saw on one of my office calendars one time that there is also Bosses Day (Oct. 16th, apparently). My thought was that bosses don't need their own day - every day is bosses day. The rich don't need people to look out for their interests - theirs are the only interests that matter. Very sad.

2:55 PM  
Blogger david said...

The mighty arm of God scatters the proud in their conceit, pulls tyrants from their thrones, and raises up the lowly. The Lord fills the starving and lets the rich go hungry. (Mary -- Luke 1:51-53)

Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. (Jesus -- Luke 6:20)
Damn you rich, for you have already received your reward. (Jesus -- Luke 6:24)

10:40 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Way to go, David! I love Sting too...not enough to pay $40 a piece (minimum) to see him here in Ptld, though. Maybe next time.

Looking forward to your next post.

3:52 PM  
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