Sunday, August 17, 2008
The Close of "Children of Men" Movie: a Musical Revelation -- Bring on the Lucie, John Lennon
I originally wrote this post last year to Dave Marsh and Lee Ballinger at Rock and Rap Confidential -- a great, honest and compelling online music publication:
I thought I would also post it on my blog. Seems appropriate.
Recently, I experienced a musical revelation at the end of an excellent recent movie, "Children of Men."
As the movie closes and the credits start to roll, a slide guitar signals the start of a raw song I thought I had never heard before. I recognize John Lennon's voice ringing out ... so timely it stuns me ... "we don't care what flag you're waving ... we don't even want to know your name ... we don't care where you are from or where you are going ... all we know is that you came ... you're making all of our decisions ... we just have one request of you ... free the people right now...."
It is all the rage and heartbreak I've been feeling over our Iraq
debacle and so many foolish mistakes this government has made in our name now and in the past. However, at the same time this is a call to stop the killing in Darfur, in the Congo and all over the world.
Later I discovered I had heard the song -- "Bring on the Lucie" -- before in a different version on the album “Mind Games.” Not sure why the song didn't hit me the same before.
But the version on the Children of Men soundtrack is a rehearsal take full of passion and rage that the Mind Games version mutes with slicker production and back up singers.
When he shouts out "so while you're jerking off each other … you better keep this thought in mind … your time has come … you better know it … maybe you can't just read the signs."
It is for me a howl at this administration and all the others that forget they work for us not the corporations and the special interests.
The clincher is the final lines of the song..."well...you were caught
with your hands in the kill … but you still got to swallow your
pill as you slip and slide down the hill on the blood of the people you killed … stop the killing now!”
How can this song be any more timely? Written more thirty years ago and we are still experiencing the same heartbreaking problems by the descendants of the same people who tried to crush John Lennon and deport him in the early 1970s, but ideas are hard to kill.
I played the end of this DVD over and over to listen to this
song … before I got the soundtrack.
Then it hit me -- the movie is about a society that discovers the value of life the hard way by completely losing the ability to reproduce.
While in this current world...people can't call genocide "genocide" even in Darfur where so many have lost their lives and life is cheap.
But it is Lennon's biting lyrics and this raw version's slide
guitar that haunted me for weeks as I probably drove my neighbors
crazy ... playing this song over and over as it fed my own writing … my own musings about our current situation of paranoia, hatred, death, war and fear.
In fact, I sometimes wonder if the fear has become us in wake of such 9/11 paranoia.
Yet Lennon's shout from the past once again shows me not only his
greatness, but how important it is not to cave into to despair and to
realize that through voicing our rage, our concerns, there is a first
step toward resolution or as I try to always remind myself … in
action ... there truly is resolution.
John Lennon never forgot that.
Stop the killing ... indeed.