Christmas In Kigali

Lorne Clarke & Tom Flannery
Language: English

List of versions

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© 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.


I wonder if Santa would stop there or take the easy way out and fly right over. Whatever he decides, lets hope his sled has better luck than President Habyarimana's plane.

The is something about Christmas that has a river quality to it. It's going to keep rolling along no matter where you are or what you are doing. Children understand this perfectly...which is why you can probably hear laughter in Kigali at times.....if you listen really hard.

(Mi domando se Babbo Natale si fermerebbe lì o prenderebbe la prima scorciatoia per volar via. Qualunque cosa decisa, speriamo che la sua slitta abbia miglior fortuna dell'aereo del Presidente Habyarimana.)
It's Christmas in Kigali
the children gather 'round
red on green is beautiful
when it's laid out on the ground
they sing thanks and praises to the Lord
because He loves them still
it's time to forget what they can see
still waiting in the hills

It's Christmas in Kigali
Washington sends their best
and France sends presents for the kids
with hopes for eternal rest
to those who could not be be here
to see the joyful scene
when the party is in full swing
you can't hear people scream

a silent night is filled with fright
there's celebration in Kigali tonight

It's Christmas in Kigali
holiest time of year
when the clouds they part and sun beams down
to dry the people's tears
and even the ghosts that walk this land
are blinded by the love
shown in this land of 1000 hills
from those who Lord above

a silent night is filled with fright
there's celebration in Kigali tonight

Contributed by CCG/AWS Staff - 2007/9/17 - 22:48

Language: Italian

Versione italiana di Kiocciolina

E' Natale a Kingali
i bambini si radunano
rosso su verde è bello
quando è disteso sul terreno
cantano ringraziamenti e pregano il Signore
perché Lui li ama ancora
è tempo di dimenticare quello che possono vedere
continuando ad aspettare sulle colline

E' Natale a Kingali
Washington manda gli auguri
e la Francia manda regali per i bambini
insieme alle speranze di un eterno riposo
per coloro che non possono essere qui
per vedere la scena gioiosa
quando la festa è in piena attività
non puoi sentire la gente urlare

una notte silenziosa è riempita dal terrore
c'è una celebrazione a Kingali stanotte

E' Natale a Kingali
il periodo più santo dell'anno
quando le nuvole si diradano e il sole brilla
per asciugare le lacrime delle persone
e persino i fantasmi che percorrono questa terra
sono accecati dall'amore
dimostrato in questo paese dalle 1000 colline
da coloro che sono protetti dal Signore

una notte silenziosa è riempita dal terrore
c'è una celebrazione a Kingali stanotte

Contributed by Kiocciolina - 2007/10/31 - 14:20

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