Lorne Clarke & Tom Flannery
Language: English

List of versions

Related Songs

Do You Ever Wonder?
(Lorne Clarke & Tom Flannery)
Rwanda - The Rise And Fall
(Lorne Clarke & Tom Flannery)

© 2004 Tom Flannery and Lorne Clarke
a production
Clarke & Flannery love to hear your thoughts on the song cycle. Email them to

rwandaThis is not a history lesson. We're not historians. We're songwriters. And anyway... how the hell is anybody going to explain the systematic state sponsored slaughter of close to a million people with a handful of songs? We're not.

Truth is, there is no explanation for the Rwandan genocide. What there is in abundance, however, is ignorance. If these songs make just one person dig a little deeper, then we've made our money back, so to speak. We've touched upon specific pieces of the horror, but don't even pretend to be able to understand it from the Rwandan point of view. We're observers from afar. Interested, heartbroken observers....but merely observers nonetheless. Please keep that in mind.

All of these songs are solo acoustic performances...recorded live with a digital 8 track studio in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The full lyrics are available, as are the complete recordings in both mp3 and quicktime formats. Notes for each song are provided, giving some insight into the creative process....and explaining where explanations are necessary. The entire project is only available via the internet. There is no "official" CD of this music. This is strictly an "online" project.
This is partly due to economics, but also because once a CD is released, it can't be changed. We're likely to add new songs here at any time.

Individual essays are also posted, because some ideas that we have probably can't be conveyed using the song form alone. These too will probably grow in time. Also, a brand new play by playwright Tom Flannery called Rwandan Eyes is available exclusively here.

Everything here is free. Listen, distribute freely, discuss.

Do everything but steal.

Tom Flannery & Lorne Clarke.


bikindisKnown as the "Rwandan Michael Jackson"....Rwanda pop singer Simon Bikindi is accused of using his music to incite hatred of Tutsis in the run-up to the 1994 genocide which claimed an estimated one million people. He is also accused together with other top military and civilian officials of helping train Interahamwe militia with the sole aim of eliminating Tutsis. The indictment details a number of killings that it says Bikindi played a leading role in. It also says that he "consulted" with government officials before releasing his lyrics. Even after the interim government had fled to the former Zaire, Bikindi continued to compose music that incited the Hutu population against the Tutsi.

He is currently being held by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda...where he has pleaded innocent to war crimes, saying "The truth shall prevail over lies, love shall prevail over hatred".

Bikindi's songs were broadcast over the government controlled hate radio station, Radio-Television des Milles Collines (RTLM). His music has been banned in Rwanda after the 1994 genocide.



Noto come il "Michael Jackson del Rwanda", il cantante pop Simon Bikindi è accusato di usare la sua musica per incitare l'odio contro i Tutsi nella crescita del genocidio del 1994, in cui si stimano un milione di vittime. E' anche accusato, con altri ufficiali militari e civili di aiutare il treno della Interhamwe militia con l'unico scopo di eliminare i Tutsi. Le accuse riportano dettagliatamente un numero di uccisioni in cui Bikindi ha giocato un ruolo dominante. L'accusa afferma anche che lui si sarebbe "consultato" con gli ufficiali governativi prima di rilasciare i suoi testi. Persino dopo che il governo provvisorio si è spostato nell'ex-Zaire, Bikindi ha continuato a comporre musica che incitava la popolazione Hutu contro i Tutsi.

Attualmente è in custodia all'International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda... dove ha proclamato la sua innocenza riguardo all'accusa di crimini di guerra, dicendo "La verità prevarrà sulle menzogne, l'amore prevarrà sull'odio".

Le canzoni di Bikindi erano trasmesse sull'emittente radio controllata dal governo, Radio-Television des Milles Collines (RTLM). La sua musica è stata bandita in Rwanda dopo il genocidio del 1994.
What if I used this song to hate
would you still dance around the room?
sweeping away the dirt as though
your feet were like a broom
what if I used this song as a call to arms
on the airwaves here and now
would you pick up the knife or the gun
if I told you how?

What if I used this song to hide
behind the words I say
if I said "after all, it's just a song"
would you look the other way?
what if I used this song to excuse
the things that I've been told
from the day that I was born
until the day that I grew old

Bikindi is my name
Bikindi is my name
love will prevail over hatred
only the killing will remain

What if I used this song to burn
your house down to the ground
and where your children once looked to the sky
they now stare at the ground
what if I used this song to kill
would you pay for my third car?
maybe you just feel like dancing
or would just love to be a star

Bikindi is my name
Bikindi is my name
love will prevail over hatred
only the killing will remain

Contributed by CCG/AWS Staff - 2007/9/17 - 21:54

Language: Italian

Versione italiana di Kiocciolina

Se io usassi questa canzone per diffondere odio,
ballereste ancora per la stanza
spazzando via la polvere
come se i vostri piedi fossero scope?
Se usassi questa canzone come una chiamata alle armi
via etere, quì e adesso,
prendereste il coltello o la pistola,
se vi avessi detto come farlo?

Se usassi questa canzone per nascondere un messaggio,
dietro le parole che dico,
se dicessi "dopo tutto, è solo una canzone"
la pensereste diversamente?
Se usassi questa canzone per giustificare
Le cose che sto dicendo
dal giorno in cui sono nato
fino al giorno in cui sono invecchiato

Bikindi è il mio nome
Bikindi è il mio nome
l'amore prevarrà sull'odio
solo gli assassinii rimarranno

Se usassi questa canzone per bruciare
la vostra casa,
e dove i vostri figli un tempo vedevano il cielo
adesso fissano il pavimento?
Se usassi questa canzone per uccidere,
paghereste per la mia terza macchina?
forse vi piace solo ballare
o semplicemente vi piacerebbe essere una star

Bikindi è il mio nome
Bikindi è il mio nome
l'amore prevarrà sull'odio
solo gli assassinii rimarranno

Contributed by Kiocciolina - 2007/10/31 - 14:53

Main Page

Please report any error in lyrics or commentaries to

Note for non-Italian users: Sorry, though the interface of this website is translated into English, most commentaries and biographies are in Italian and/or in other languages like French, German, Spanish, Russian etc.

hosted by