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Your Queen Is a Reptile

Sons Of Kemet
Language: English

List of versions


Related Songs

Black
(Sons Of Kemet)
Angela
(Quartetto Cetra)
Go down, Moses
(Anonymous)


[2018]
Parole e musica di Shabaka Hutchings, sassofonista e clarinettista inglese originario delle Barbados.




Il titolo non è quello di una canzone ma di un intero concept album dedicato a figure di donne nere che hanno lottato contro l'oppressione, il razzismo, la violenza.

Your Queen Is A Reptile

I brani sono quasi tutti strumentali, salvo quello introduttivo, dedicato alla bisnonna dell'autore, e quello finale, dedicato a Doreen Lawrence, inglese di origine giamaicana, madre coraggio, madre di Stephen, un ragazzo trucidato a Londra da un branco di razzisti bianchi che, anche a causa della copertura loro offerta dalla polizia, furono incriminati e processati solo 20 anni dopo e solo grazie all'ostinazione di una donna e ai progressi della scienza forense.
La seconda traccia, "My Queen Is Mamie Phipps Clark" – una psicologa sociale afroamericana che combattè contro il modello segregazionista nell'istituzione scolastica – contiene un testo fortemente distorto dal dub, che non riesco a comprendere e che non è riportato su Genius, da cui traggo ipotesi di testi per la prima e per la ultima traccia.
1 - My Queen Is Ada Eastman (1)

Still here still grinding
Hustling and striving
In these dark times these dark
Minds I'm a diamond

Big Ben is still chiming
They don't wanna see us smiling
They wanna keep us grimey
But my politics still lively

Still here amongst the sirens
Turn the claps and violence down
Dust in lane I'm scribing
No visits from your Highness

Still here my dear despite
The prophecies of seers
Smashed to pieces on the pier
Put myself back like IKEA

Still here among the brass
Garments washed in starch
London wind is biting harsh
Shiver my thin moustache

I'm crude but not into crass
Willing and able and up to the task
They go low we go high it's a fact
They go low we go high like tax

Still here and cool
Still here like Queen Kasoon,
J life leaves and oooh
Old school, like tomato stew, ooh
Stood on the shoulders of greats

In my hands my own faith
Make my enemies eat the cake
Cry me a river, cry me a lake
Still here God willing
Old rebels still revelling
Calm inside the Catalin
Calm though times unsettling
Too dark a mind to settle it
Don't want the beef that I'm serving
Feline amongst these vermin
Black and proud and determined
Jumped in the war left with no stitch

Ate with a priest, drived with a witch
Man's a 9th degree
Heartbreak wherever my flag is pitched
Cutting my hunger for fine things
Learning the lesson that time brings

Acquired this taste for London Pride
Spread my wings in these noxious skies
In these streets, these streets where foxes hide
I'm not yet old and I'm so wise

I take this strife in my stride
I must admit, it's tough at times
But most don't like it, I dived in
This never never never never
Ending pressure piling on

I'm still here still unruly
All sound and all fury
All frown and all fury
All gas and all fury
No peers, no jury

Burn UKIP, fuck the Tories
Fuck the fascists, end of story
Fuck 'em all, fuck 'em truly
Call me a roach, 'cause I'm resilient

I'm born strong, the son of an immigrant
Struggling element
And I'll be here
I'll be here when your cities are sediment

And only your borders and fences are left
I'll be here when your banks stop selling debt
And all your leaders stop selling death
And you've lost all relevance
In the corner, check me reading a paper
Scribing your last will and testament

I'm still here
I'm still here
I'm still here
I'm still here
Man still here
I'm still here
I'm still here, done now

2 - My Queen Is Mamie Phipps Clark (2)

[Instrumental]

3 - My Queen Is Harriet Tubman (3)

[Instrumental]

4 - My Queen Is Anna Julia Cooper (4)

[Instrumental]

5 - My Queen Is Angela Davis (5)

[Instrumental]

6 - My Queen Is Nanny of the Maroons (6)

[Instrumental]

7 - My Queen Is Yaa Asantewaa (7)

[Instrumental]

8 - My Queen Is Albertina Sisulu (8)

[Instrumental]

9 - My Queen Is Doreen Lawrence (9)

Don't wanna hear that racist claptrap
Anybody chat that crap get clapped back
Don't wanna take my country back, mate
I wanna take my country forward

Don't wanna hear that racist claptrap
You chat that chat, get clapped back
Don't wanna take my country back, mate
I wanna take my country forward
Cha!

Yeah
To want to know you're in safe hands
Whether you utter a bang
Or a whimper you'll be heard in this wasteland
To believe in due process
Lawman, your man, either side of the fence
Is regarding the other as suspect
To approach the killer of your child, demand the respect
Pressure underwater like Loch Ness
A few choice words will calm the unrest
And react to the [?]

To want
And say "fuck it"
Brush aside all notions of justice
Make good the engine for vengeance
To be surrounded by strangers
United in a wordless statement
It is frightening having this much presence

To belong to something bigger than a Jobcentre queue
See the wall from a not-so-desperate point of view
Wash your grievances in public
With a horde to your sides and your back
Go menace
Cause mayhem, make madness
To hurt your own home so hard that
The whole world knows you're alive
And to not give a damn if it doesn't

To say something, anything I like
Face down the law even if it's just for one night
Go ahead
Put your lips to my power and sip
Feel big like Caesar
Roman road
Stride not, run
Do not just be there when Rome burns
But to hold the torch now
Hulk smash, grab cash

You're not a fool brother, just brave
Just foolish and, let's face it:

Who raids the shop and leaves the loot behind?
Who raids the shop and leaves the loot behind?
Who raids the shop and leaves the loot behind?
Who raids the shop and leaves the loot behind?

Who raids the shop and leaves the loot behind?
Who raids the shop and leaves the loot behind?
Who raids the shop and leaves the loot behind?
Who raids the shop and leaves the loot behind?

Who raids the shop and leaves the loot behind?
Who raids the shop and leaves the loot behind?
Who raids the shop and leaves the loot behind?
Who raids the shop and leaves the loot behind?

Who raids the shop and leaves the loot behind?
Who raids the shop and leaves the loot behind?
(1)My Queen Is Ada Eastman is dedicated to my great grandmother who I knew throughout my time living in Barbados. She lived to a 103 years of age. My memories of her are of a matriarch who held the whole fabric of our family together and who worked tirelessly her whole life to support her children and see the generations that came after her fly to positions that well exceed her humble origins. Her memory gives me strength. Still here!” (Shabaka Hutchings)

(2) Mamie Phipps Clark (1917-1983). Psicologa sociale, afroamericana. Per tutta la vita si battè per l'autodeterminazione dei neri e per una società ed una scuola dove fosse bandito il segregazionismo.



(3) Harriet Tubman (1822-1913), la "Mosè nera", una figura che abbiamo già incontrato diverse volte su queste pagine. Rinvio in particolare all'introduzione a Go down, Moses.



(4) Anna Julia Cooper (1858-1964), nata in schiavitù in North Carolina e diventata una delle prime donne afroamericane a laurearsi (ebbe anche una laurea in Storia alla Sorbona di Parigi), lottò tutta la vita contro la segregazione razziale e di genere. Salutata come "mother of Black Feminism".



(5) Angela Davis, classe 1944. Anche lei è molto nota su queste pagine, e si veda per esempio Angela del nostro Quartetto Cetra.



(6) Queen Nanny o Nanny of the Maroons (c. 1686 – c. 1755) è stata una leader dei cosiddetti Maroons giamaicani, africani fuggiti alla schiavitù che in Giamaica avevano costituito le prime comunità libere. Eroe nazionale giamaicana.

(7) Yaa Asantewaa (1840-1921), regnante dell'Impero Ashanti, in Ghana, che nel 1900 guidò una ribellione contro i colonialisti inglesi.



(8) Albertina Sisulu (1918-2011) è stata una militante antiapartheid sudafricana.



(9) Doreen Lawrence, classe 1952, l'ho presentata in introduzione. E' la madre di Stephen, che nel 1993, a soli 19 anni, fu ucciso da un branco di ragazzi bianchi nel sud est di Londra. Per 20 anni sua madre dovette combattere contro i depistaggi della polizia e le campagne diffamatorie della stampa e dei politici di destra. Solo nel 2011 il caso venne riaperto sulla scorta di nuove evidenze scientifiche e due degli aggressori furono condannati.



Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2019/11/22 - 22:20


"Your Queen Is a Reptile", "La vostra regina è un rettile",
mentre le mie regine sono tutte donne a sangue caldo, forti ed irriducibili, che hanno lottato tutta la vita contro l'oppressione, il razzismo, la violenza, caratteristiche queste deteriori che Shabaka Hutchings e i suoi Sons of Kemet attribuscono al colonialismo inglese e al suo rappresentante legale, Her Majesty The Queen.

Your Queen Is a Reptile, an introduction.

B.B. - 2019/11/23 - 11:28



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