Bonus Poetry For National Poetry Month: Gil Scott Heron

My 303rd post, but my first special request–enjoy–but you know you could have googled this, right?

Gil-Scott-Heron-Revolution-Will-Not-Be-TelevisedGil Scott Heron imprinted on the American psyche with “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”–a seminal rap, spoken-word poem tour do force that most people recognize from history class and vaguely associate with the 1960s (much of which was actually in the 1970s), Viet Nam, Civil Rights, Black Power–anything but the fact that it was part of a poem.

Thought it’s not as culturally significant, I like this one even more–blew my mind the first time I heard it.

Work For Peace by Gil Scott Heron

Back when Eisenhower was the President,
Golf courses was where most of his time was spent.
So I never really listened to what the President said,
Because in general I believed that the General was politically dead.
But he always seemed to know when the muscles were about to be flexed,
Because I remember him saying something, mumbling something about a Military Industrial Complex.
Americans no longer fight to keep their shores safe,
Just to keep the jobs going in the arms making workplace.
Then they pretend to be gripped by some sort of political reflex,
But all they’re doing is paying dues to the Military Industrial Complex.
The Military and the Monetary,
The Military and the Monetary,
The Military and the Monetary.
The Military and the Monetary,
get together whenever they think its necessary,
They turn our brothers and sisters into mercenaries, they are turning the planet into a cemetery.
The Military and the Monetary, use the media as intermediaries,
they are determined to keep the citizens secondary, they make so many decisions that are arbitrary.
We’re marching behind a commander in chief,
who is standing under a spotlight shaking like a leaf.
but the ship of state had landed on an economic reef,
so we knew he was going to bring us messages of grief.
The Military and the Monetary,
were shielded by January and went storming into February,
Brought us pot bellied generals as luminaries,
two weeks ago I hadn’t heard of the son of a bitch,
now all of a sudden he’s legendary.
They took the honour from the honourary,
they took the dignity from the dignitaries,
they took the secrets from the secretary,
but they left the bitch an obituary.
The Military and the Monetary,
from thousands of miles away in a Saudi Arabian sanctuary,
had us all scrambling for our dictionaries,
cause we couldn’t understand the fuckin vocabulary.
Yeah, there was some smart bombs,
but there was some dumb ones as well,
scared the hell out of CNN in that Baghdad hotel.
The Military and the Monetary,
they get together whenever they think its necessary,
War in the desert sometimes sure is scary,
but they beamed out the war to all their subsidiaries.
Tried to make So Damn Insane a worthy adversary,
keeping the citizens secondary,
scaring old folks into coronaries.
The Military and the Monetary,
from thousands of miles in a Saudi Arabian sanctuary,
kept us all wondering if all of this was really truely, necessary.
We’ve got to work for Peace,
Peace ain’t coming this way.
If we only work for Peace,
If everyone believed in Peace the way they say they do,
we’d have Peace.
The only thing wrong with Peace,
is that you can’t make no money from it.
The Military and the Monetary,
they get together whenever they think its necessary,
they’ve turned our brothers and sisters into mercenaries,
they are turning the planet, into a cemetery.
Got to work for Peace,
Peace ain’t coming this way.
We should not allow ourselves to be mislead,
by talk of entering a time of Peace,
Peace is not the absence of war,
it is the absence of the rules of war and the threats of war
and the preparation for war.
Peace is not the absence of war,
it is the time when we will all bring ourselves
closer to each other,
closer to building a structure that is unique
within ourselves
because we have finally come to Peace within ourselves.
The Military and the Monetary,
The Military and the Monetary,
The Military and the Monetary.
Get together whenever they think its necessary,
they’ve turned our brothers and sisters into mercenaries,
they are turning parts of the planet, into a cemetery.
The Military and the Monetary,
The Military and the Monetary,
We hounded the Ayatollah religiously,
Bombed Libya and killed Quadafi’s son hideously.
We turned our back on our allies the Panamanians,
and saw Ollie North selling guns to the Iranians.
Watched Gorbachev slaughtering Lithuanians,
We better warn the Amish,
they may bomb the Pennsylvanians.
The Military and the Monetary,
get together whenever they think its necessary,
they have turned our brothers and sisters into mercenaries,
they are turning the planet, into a cemetery.
I don’t want to sound like no late night commercial,
but its a matter of fact that there are thousands of children
all over the world
in Asia and Africa and in South America who need our help.
When they start talking about 55 cents a day and
70 cents a day,
I know a lot of folks feel as though that,
that’s not really any kind of contribution to make,
but we had to give up a dollar and a half just to get
in the subway nowadays.
So this is a song about tomorrow and about how tomorrow
can be better. if we all,
“Each one reach one, Each one try to teach one”.
Nobody can do everything,
but everybody can do something,
everyone must play a part,
everyone got to go to work, Work for Peace.
Spirit Say Work, Work for Peace
If you believe the things you say, go to work.
If you believe in Peace, time to go to work.
Cant be waving your head no more, go to work.

Advertisements

About JunkChuck

Native, Militant Westsylvanian (the first last best place), laborer, gardener, and literary hobbyist (if by literary you mean "hack"). I've had a bunch of different blogs, probably four, due to a recurring compulsion to start over. This incarnation owes to a desire to dredge up the best entries of the worst little book of hand-scrawled poems I could ever dream of writing, salvageable excerpts from fiction both in progress and long-abandoned. and a smattering of whatever the hell seems to fit at any particular moment. At first blush, I was here just to focus on old, terrible verse, but I reserve the right to include...anything. Maybe everything, certainly my love of pulp novels growing garlic, the Pittsburgh Steelers and howling at the moon--both figuratively and, on rare occasions, literally.
This entry was posted in Commentary, Poetry, sheer awesomeness and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s