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How Do We Sleep At Night?

Lorne Clarke & Tom Flannery
Language: English

List of versions


Related Songs

Lake Victoria
(Lorne Clarke & Tom Flannery)
Rwandan Eyes
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Stalingrad
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A RWANDAN SONG CYCLE
© 2004 Tom Flannery and Lorne Clarke
a SongaWeek.com production
www.rwandasongs.com
Clarke & Flannery love to hear your thoughts on the song cycle. Email them to anthracite@rocketmail.com.



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.


ABOUT THE SONG

I was recently assailed by a coworker at the giant paper mill where I earn my living. His anger was directed toward me because he thinks of me as the local figure head for all things "LBERAL." His beef was that "LIBERALS" have wrongly perpetuated the myth that the world is in crisis. He went on to list the bogus crises... a health care crisis - a global warming crisis - an unemployment crisis - a weapons of mass destruction crisis - a terrorist crisis - a political corruption / voter fraud crisis - and on and on. He pointed out that he lived in the same world as the rest of us and that he was facing no crisis; therefore there could be no crisis.

I waited for his steam pressure to drop then I asked him about Darfur, Sudan. He had no idea where or what I was talking about. I then asked him about the Rwandan genocide. He said that that was another problem with LIBERALS... they think that WE (I guess he meant the world at large) have to intervene in these "civil wars." I suggested that we - as HUMAN BEINGS - have no choice but to step in when our brothers and sisters have lost their way -- and their minds.
This song comes out of that feeling of duty -- and also out of the sense of helplessness we all feel when confronted by humanitarian catastrophe.... I cannot feed all the poor... I cannot heal all the sick... I cannot feed all the hungry... I cannot comfort all who are weary and lost... all true - but that does not mean I cannot continue to care and to do what I can - and to do what I can to move others to do what they can.

My coworker left in frustration. I hope he listens to this song and the rest of the Rwanda song cycle... perhaps he will... and perhaps he will learn that we are indeed living in crisis.
Sometimes I wonder how we sleep at night
is it that we only see the world in black and white
or deliberately close our eyes
and stop our ears to the desperate cries
of the children who we blame for their own plight
tell me how do we sleep at night
how do we sleep at night

Why do we insist there's nothing we can do
is it that we only see the world in black and blue
that in every game there's a losing side
and though some folks play with loaded dice
we have to play but we don't get to make the rules
there must be something we can do
something we can do

Can you tell me how we can live this way
is it that we only see the world in shades of grey
or abandon those who need the most
to the father son and the holy ghost
though we know that no one hears them when they pray
tell me how can we live this way
how can we live this way

Sometimes I wonder how we sleep at night
is it that we only see the world in black and white
or deliberately close our eyes
and stop our ears to the desperate cries
of the children who we blame for their own plight
tell me how do we sleep at night
how do we sleep at night

Contributed by CCG Staff - 2007/9/17 - 23:01



Language: Italian

Versione italiana di Kiocciolina
COME FACCIAMO A DORMIRE LA NOTTE?

A volte mi domando come facciamo a dormire la notte
non sarà che vediamo il mondo solo in bianco e nero?
o che chiudiamo deliberatamente gli occhi?
e ci tappiamo le orecchie per non sentire le urla disperate
dei bambini che incolpiamo per le loro sventure?
Ditemi come facciamo a dormire la notte
Come facciamo a dormire la notte?

Perché insistiamo nel dire che non c'è niente che possiamo fare?
Non sarà che vediamo il mondo solo in nero e blu?
Che in ogni gioco c'è una parte che perde?
E anche se alcuni popoli giocano con dadi truccati
dobbiamo giocare, ma non arriviamo mai a fare le regole
Deve esserci qualcosa che possiamo fare
qualcosa che possiamo fare

Potete dirmi come possiamo vivere in questo modo?
Non sarà che vediamo il mondo solo in alcune sfumature di grigio?
O che abbandoniamo coloro che hanno più bisogno?
In nome del Padre, del Figlio e dello Spirito Santo
anche se sappiamo che nessuno li ascolta quando pregano
Ditemi come possiamo vivere in questo modo
Come possiamo vivere in questo modo?

A volte mi domando come facciamo a dormire la notte
non sarà che vediamo il mondo solo in bianco e nero?
o che chiudiamo deliberatamente gli occhi?
e ci tappiamo le orecchie per non sentire le urla disperate
dei bambini che incolpiamo per le loro sventure?
Ditemi come facciamo a dormire la notte
Come facciamo a dormire la notte?

Contributed by Kiocciolina - 2007/10/31 - 14:39



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