Reality TV (protest song)

 

The ‘Green Guide’ told us to watch the TV

It claimed that we would finally see reality.

Under the impression that truth is not a digression

I had to ask the question

As to why the strange things I saw that night

Were advertised as real and right

So I waited for the commercial break

To lose my concentration

As my attention wandered away

From the packet filled with cornflakes on the screen

To reality as it has been

From the cornflakes on the screen

To reality as it has been

 

So I looked out of my window

And saw that things were good –

The tree that I had planted

Was still standing where it should;

I thought it seemed real enough

I didn’t need to check

I saw a purple flower

But in the shade it looked black.

 

Then I looked up at the sky

Where the moon had been last night

The moon had gone and in its place

Was a glowing ball of light

A glowing ball of light

 

“Could this be real?” I wondered

As I looked on with delight

As the cotton clouds changed shape

To form a white dove bird in flight

But I knew that it was only a cloud I knew it was the sky

I didn’t wave my arms about

Thinking that I could fly!

 

I didn’t watch the box that night

To tell me what is wrong and what is right

But ‘reality’ blazed its bizarre beams

Into other minds and other brains

And I wonder how many were sane

With ‘reality TV’ in their brains

I wonder how many were sane

With ‘reality TV’ in their brains.

 

(words and music by Romesh Senewiratne-Alagaratnam, copyright 2004)

With One Voice “Peace” (protest song)

words and music by Romesh Senewiratne-Alagaratnam Arya Chakravarti, 2004

recorded in 2006

 

WITH ONE VOICE ‘PEACE’

 

Looking at the sunshine

But kept in the dark

The weatherman said it would be fine

Another glossy, casual remark

‘Cause a new war looms and we’ve seen it all before

A new war looms and we’ve seen it all before

 

The TV talks up the conflict again

It showed the friendly soldiers and some were weeping

It slowed the lonely viewers already sleeping

Said the special correspondent ‘the soldiers are despondent’

This time the administration has acted without consent

And its time to voice some real dissent

 

‘Cause a new war looms and we’ve seen it all before

A new war looms and we’ve seen it all before

 

No longer hypnotised by lies

The masses mobilized

To stop the growth of arms in the skies

The masses have been mobilized

 

They dance and march and wave placards

The poets and the singing bards

They say with one voice “No War!”

They say with one voice “Peace!”

They say with one voice “Peace!”

 

Somebody Else’s War (Protest Song)

SOMEBODY ELSE’S WAR

words and music by Romesh Senewiratne-Alagaratnam Arya Chakravarti

 

They point ahead and their whisper in our ears

They say they’ll show their grand illusion here

Their plan to make the whole world ‘true’

The new world they were born to rule

They point ahead but they tell us to stand here

They point ahead but they tell us to stand here

 

They never try to hide

With blinkered eyes they ride

While there in every land

Are scheming men with plans

 

Fighting in somebody else’s war

What’s right what’s wrong and what’s the law

Familiar rooms and shady deals

Secret handshakes with official seals

They’re fighting in somebody’s corridor

 

So tell me why is it so that their eyes never show

A simple sign of interest, don’t tell me that they do their best

So what do you think that their next crime will be

Another bomb in the Middle East, they put it to the test

 

So battle done, wars been won

The lights come on but the dark is here to stay

And everyone can have a say

And it’s so easy now If we don’t all get blown away

Everyone can have a say

And it’s so easy now, if we don’t all get blown away.

 

Composed in 1989

Recorded in 2006

And still not blown up.

 

Answers in the Dark (original song)

Answers in the dark, the silence brooding

An idea begins with a spark, and dawn is looming

Not forgetting melancholy

As the mind drifts onwards, downwards

Memories of past follies Intrude into the daytime dreaming

Answers in the dark

Wondering what wisdom brings

Planning for the future

Drifting with the clouds

And the sky is like a rainbow

While the wild cats prowl

Deserts turn to forests

With the wisdom of an owl

When peace is more than an ideal

The pigeon settles with the dove

An open world beckons

Through the fears and anguish of love

 

Answers in the dark

Seeing what the new day brings

Deeper than the ocean

Is the song that nature sings

And the sky is like a painting

Always moving, always still

Life is still the main thing

In the vacuum of our will.

 

Retrospective Diagnosis (protest song)

I ask as I read

Your diagnoses of the dead

Of the madness of artists

And the ravings of poets –

Do you consider what’s said?

Do you think ANY poet sane?

How can you understand such a brain

When you treat metaphor with disdain?

 

I ask as I read

When you speak of Van Gogh

Diagnoses are made

And his brilliance fades –

Viewed as a freak

Diseased imagination

That glorified sunflowers

And saw beauty in the mundane

 

I ask as I read

The criteria you make

To call artists mad

Synonymous with bad

Prejudiced rules

Constructed by fools

With stupid textbooks

Created by crooks

With hidden agendas

Arrogant and friendless

 

Do you consider any poet “chemically balanced”?

Do you consider any artist “appropriately behaved”?

Or are poetry and art the very diseases

That you would rid the human race of?

The human race, tired of running

Round in circles

Driven ever faster, the human race

Sick of competing and climbing the ladder

Deeper into the sewer Of greedy profiteering

Relentless careering

Artists exploited, poets tortured

The victims cry out, but fear to be clear

They speak in metaphor

To hide their horror

They have seen the world as poets

As sensitive people

Not “schizophrenics”.

 

(words and music by Romesh Senewiratne-Alagaratnam Arya Chakravarti, 1999)

Guitars, bass and vocals by Romesh)

 

Walking Down the Fine Line (protest song)

WALKING DOWN THE FINE LINE

 

Walking down the fine line in an age of confusion

Walking down the fine line between truth and illusion

 

They argue for war, but if they’d seen what we saw

They break the law, but we’re not the fools they take us for

Though we’re walking down the fine line,

We’re walking down the fine line

 

Even the church has backed away

From the debate of the day

“Not a just war this time”, they say

“Not worth the price we’d have to pay”

Even the rabid warmongers wait

 

They don’t want to be viewed with hate

But they quietly terrorise the state

With warnings that time is getting late

 

And we’re walking down the fine line

We’re walking down the fine line

As politicians raise the alarm

The people are frightened of the calm

The bishop reads another psalm

And searches for words to serve as a balm

As more people march for peace

The prisoners and captives will be released

As shackles are disregarded and destroyed

Along with the army’s brand new toys

Maybe the generals will be detained For crimes against humanity and acid rain

The generals have had their day

Now it’s time to find a better way

They don’t care how many they slay

The priest commands the congregation to pray

But there’s got to be a better way, there’s got to be a better way

The taxman say’s we’ve got to pay

For the troops and the war and the games they play

But there’s got to be a better way

There’s got to be a better way.

 

(Words and music by Romesh Senewiratne-Alagaratnam Arya Chakravarti, 2003)

Guitars, bass, percussion and vocals by Romesh