On the subject of Beirut and its people…

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ae2dEWoKsxA[/tube]

A song called Alice in Jericho, where Lebanon/Beirut is the actual subject. The singer is Ireland’s Seamie O’Dowd. The venue is some jazz club in Australia, not sure where.

Alice In Jericho

Now, the natural part of a Nazarene man
is the life he’ll give for his own blood-band;
but there’s nothing left over for the Philistines, too,
not the land they lost, nor the life they knew.
And the Prophet’s peace of a thousand years
meant nothing but blood, means nothing but tears.

Yes, she’s probably gone now, don’t you know:
Alice tried to live in Jericho.
Didn’t care about Hebrews’ promised lands,
she said, “I get by as best I can.”

When you get a bad mix in a tiny land,
every few damned years, it seems, it gets out of hand;
between bandit princes and their holy wars,
spilling blood in His name is a righteous chore.
Alice is innocent in a Levantine town,
and that’s the first kind the heroes cut down.

Yes, she’s probably gone now, don’t you know:
Alice tried to live in Jericho.
Didn’t care about Hebrews’ promised lands,
she said, “I get by as best I can.”

Now, I don’t know if she’s really gone,
but I’m thinking of the range of an average bomb,
or maybe the knife, in a righteous hand,
shortened her life in the Holy Land.
Or what I hope for her, as best of all:
that she only got shaken in the great downfall.

Yes, she’s probably gone now, don’t you know:
Alice tried to live in Jericho.
Didn’t care about Hebrews’ promised lands,
she said, “I get by as best I can.”

 ©1977 Thom Moore, reg. IMRO, MCPS

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2 comments

    • Jacques on November 6, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Thom Moore’s description of this song on his Broadjam website indicates that Alice is (was?) a real person, while ‘Jericho’ is just a trope on the notion of Beirut as yet another mideast city at the mercy of marauding Israelites…

    • Jacques on November 6, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Seamie O’Dowd was playing at the Ellington Jazz Club in Perth, Western Australia

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