Jay Mankita: They Lied

1 november 2006 14:44 | Musik, Politik | Kommentering avstängd

När jag och Jan Hammarlund den 21 maj 2005 i ABF-huset i Stockholm gjorde musikprogrammet ”Ett annat USA är möjligt”, valde vi ut en sång per årtionde ur den radikala amerikanska sångtraditionen. Givetvis ville vi ha med en sång också från 2000-talets första årtionde.

För den radikala sångtraditionen i USA lever också under det nya århundradet; inte minst anfallet på Irak har resulterat i rader av bra protestsånger. Jag gick igenom de allra senaste årens sångpubliceringar i tidskriften Sing Out! och hittade där mängder av sånger, som det var svårt att välja bland: Si Kahns ”When the War Is Done”, Chuck Brodskys ”Dangerous Times”, Sonias ”No Bomb Is Smart”, Steave Earles ”Rich Man´s War”, Loudon Wainwright IIIs ”President´s Day”, Eliza Gilkysons ”Ballad of Yvonne Johnson” och Anne Feeneys ”Have You Been In Jail For Justice”; man kunde i sammanhanget också nämna David Rovics CD ”Songs For Mahmud”.

Men till slut fastnade jag för Jay Mankita, enligt Pete Seeger ”…one of the half dozen best songwriters today”. Jay Mankita spelar akustisk gitarr. Han spelar blues, bluegrass och ballader, även ragtime, swing och samba. Ett bra amerikanskt ord för den här sången är hard-hitting:

They Lied

Amerikansk text och musik: Jay Mankita, 2005

They lied, they lied
They took us for a ride
Tried burying the truth
Where it very nearly died
But no matter what they tride to hide
Sing and shout, the truth wins out
Everybody knows they lied

I ain´t telling you nothing
You don´t already know
But the government´s been
Lying to you, Joe
They are shaking your hand
While they´re showing you the door
To a foreign land so you can fight the poor
Where every Arab is a terrorist
Hiding weapons that don´t exist
You can join a coalition
Of willing nation
Willing to kill civilians
For the corporations

They lied, they lied…

Tonight is the night
That you give up your rights
To the Patriot Act
And the perilous fight
But you won´t remember
Which country you´re in
When you wake up in the morning
By the dawn´s early light
If it reminds you of the Third Reich
You better keep quiet if you don´t like it
You better watch your backs
And cover your tracks
´Cause you´re paying for it all
With your federal tax

They lied, they lied…

Now come on, did you see
The presidential smirk?
I say don´t look now
It´s Captain Kirk!
He´s an arrogant jerk
Though likeable too
But the Federation´s
Been lying to you
The Federation, the corporation
The supposed to be public radio station
Violating the neutral zone
To promote the imperial corporate nation

Blow up Afganistan
Nuke Iraq
We got the biggest
Phasers on the block
We´re the worlds policeman
Around the clock
“You´ve got the com
Now, Mr. Spock”
And to the victors go the spoils
Dilithium crystals, petroleum oil
They hate our freedoms
For no good reason
Arabs, and Klingons
It´s open season

They lied, they lied…

So you know that the government´s
Been lying to you
And I know that you know
That it ain´t nothing new
That´s what they do
They´ve been lying since 1492
They didn´t teach me
When I was a kid
About the terrible
Things that we did
“We´ll always honor this sacred treaty
With a smallpox covered blanket, sweetie”

Agent Orange, and napalm
Gulf of Tonkin, Vietnam
Iran/Contra, Watergate
It´s a history of
The criminal state
They´re spoon feeding it
Right out of the box
“We´re fair and balanced”
Says the Fox
While talk shows shills
Are shouting out
“It´s the liberals we´ve got
To be worrying about”

They lied, they lied…

My mom said, “Really,
If the news was controlled
By corporate money
And held in stranglehold
I would have already heard
About it on the TV
If it was really important
I would have been told
By the newscasters
And the pundits, and anchors
And their pals, the politicians
The generals, and bankers
You say they´re doing
The old bait and switch
But why would they lie?
They´re already rich”

Power corrupts
It´s the ancient trend
The list of lies
Will never end
New lies are coming
Around the bend
Speak truth to power
If truth is your friend
They lie to me
They lie to you
They lie to themselves
But it ain´t nothing new
They lie to the press
The press passes the buck
They lie to the world
Now everybody duck

Last chorus:
They lied, they lied
They took us for a ride
Tried burying the truth
Where it very nearly died
They lied, they lied
But no matter what they tried to hide
Sing and shout, the truth wins out
Sing and shout, the truth wins out
Sing and shout, the truth wins out
Everybody knows they lied

Till slut blev det så, att vi aldrig spelade den här sången: den är lång, och tiden räckte inte till.

Men jag vill gärna leda mina läsare vidare till den. Den finns på Jay Mankitas CD ”Dogs Are Watching Us” (Dream on Tape Records, 2005). Själv hittade jag den på ”Songs From Sing Out! Volume 49 # 1” (en CD medföljer tidskriften Sing Out! vid specialprenumeration – i samma nummer av tidskriften finns på sidorna 64-65
introduktion, text och noter).

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