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Nelson pens protest song

Ballad will debut at fund-raising concert for Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, who comes to town Friday

Country legend Willie Nelson says he hopes song’s tough questions cause backlash.

Lyrics below to:
What Ever Happened To Peace On Earth

John Dunham ASSOCIATED PRESS


By Michael Corcoran
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Wednesday, December 31, 2003
Willie Nelson woke up early Christmas morning at the Lake Elsinore, Calif., home of his in-laws and turned on the news.

“There was nothing but bad news, and here it was Christmas Day,” Nelson said.   “I said, `There sure are a lot of babies dying and mothers crying,’ and (wife) Annie said, `That sounds like a song.’”

By the end of the day, Nelson had written the anti-war ballad “What Ever Happened to Peace on Earth,” which he will debut at Saturday’s fund-raising concert for Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich at Austin Music Hall.

“That’s only the second protest song I’ve ever written,” Nelson said Tuesday from his tour bus in Tennessee, “but it just came pouring out.”

Nelson often performed his anti-war composition “Jimmy’s Road” at peace rallies during the 1991 Gulf War.   It was released on 1992’s “The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories?”

Asked if he’s concerned that the new song — which asks such biting questions as “How much oil is one human life worth?” and “How much is a liar’s word worth?” — might cause a backlash with conservative country music fans, Nelson said, “I sure hope so.   I don’t care if people say, `Who the hell does he think he is?’   I know who I am.”

Nelson plans to record the song in Nashville today and rush-release it as a single, though the song itself suggests that it won’t get much airplay:  “Now, you probably won’t hear this on your radio/   Probably not on your local TV/   But if there’s a time, and you’re ever so inclined/   You can always hear it from me.”   The lyrics were released Tuesday by the Kucinich campaign.

Nelson said the reaction he’s had from friends for whom he’s played the song has been overwhelmingly positive.   Houston lawyer Joe Jamail, a longtime Willie crony, told the singer that he plans to buy a full-page ad in the Houston Chronicle to display the lyrics.

“Now, I haven’t played it for Toby (Keith) yet,” Nelson said with a laugh.   Although the two are close friends, the sentiments of “What Ever Happened to Peace on Earth” are the polar opposite of Keith’s angry-American anthem “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue,” with its call to arms.

“Toby wrote that song in reaction to 9/11, which was a totally different thing than watching U.S. soldiers die in Iraq,” Nelson said.   “Toby’s said he’s not a Republican or a Democrat; he’s a Christian.   So we’re coming from the same place.”

Nelson said he became interested in endorsing Kucinich because of the Ohioan’s support of family farmers.   The four-term congressman from Cleveland has also been an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq.

“I just like him because he tells the truth,” Nelson said.   “Whether he’s electable or not, who knows?   But when you’ve got a guy you can trust, you’ve got a good candidate.”

Kucinich has raised about $5 million for his campaign, far less than the $40 million raised so far by the campaign of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean.

Saturday’s concert, which will be Webcast live at www.kucinich.us, will also feature Michelle Shocked, Bonnie Raitt, Tish Hinojosa and Pat Simmons and Michael McDonald from the Doobie Brothers.

Kucinich spokeswoman Susan Mainzer says the goal is to raise more than $80,000 during the candidate’s two-day visit to Austin.

Kucinich will hit town Friday to file for a spot on the Texas Democratic primary ballot.

Texas isn’t expected to be in political play for the November general election, but Democratic presidential hopefuls have been visiting the state for campaign cash and for support in the state’s March 9 primary.

Kucinich also will attend a reception Friday night and will meet with AFL-CIO members Saturday morning.

He’s scheduled to speak at a peace rally at the Capitol Saturday and will tape a question-and-answer session with young people at the Austin Music Network.
There’s so many things going on in the world
Babies dying
Mothers crying
How much oil is one human life worth
And what ever happened to peace on earth

Willy Nelson

Photo: John Dunham associated press

We believe everything that they tell us
They’re gonna’ kill us
So we gotta’ kill them first
But I remember a commandment
Thou shall not kill
How much is that soldier’s life worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth


(Bridge)
And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we’ve been told from our birth
Hell they won’t lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liar’s word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth


So I guess it’s just
Do unto others before they do it to you
Let’s just kill em’ all and let God sort em’ out
Is this what God wants us to do


(Repeat Bridge)
And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we’ve been told from our birth
Hell they won’t lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liar’s word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth


Now you probably won’t hear this on your radio
Probably not on your local TV
But if there’s a time, and if you’re ever so inclined
You can always hear it from me
How much is one picker’s word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth


But don’t confuse caring for weakness
You can’t put that label on me
The truth is my weapon of mass protection
And I believe truth sets you free


(Bridge)
And the bewildered herd is still believing
Everything we’ve been told from our birth
Hell they won’t lie to me
Not on my own damn TV
But how much is a liar’s word worth
And whatever happened to peace on earth



© Willie Nelson

Copyright 2001-2003 Cox Texas Newspapers, L.P. All rights reserved.







Unspeakable grief and horror
                        ...and the circus of deception continues...
Most recent Kewe blog   click here
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Circus of Torture   2003 — now
He says, "You are quite mad, Kewe"
And of course I am.
Why, I don't believe any of it — not the bloody body, not the bloody mind, not even the bloody Universe, or is it bloody multiverse.
"It's all illusion," I say.   "Don't you know, my lad, my lassie.   The game!   The game, me girl, me boy!   Takes on interest, don't you know.   T'is me sport, till doest find a better!"
Pssssst — but all this stuff is happening down here
Let's change it!
 
 































































































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For archives, these articles are being stored on TheWE.cc website.
The purpose is to advance understandings of environmental, political,
human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues.