A Nuclear Refrain: emotion. empire and the democratic potential of protest will be launched at City Books in Brighton and Hove on Thursday 5th March 2020. Do come along for a night of fiction, theory and song! It's great the launch will be first in Brighton where we held the MAD Cabaret in 2018 to raise money for the project. The MAD Cabaret was supported by Caroline Lucas and starred Attila the Stockbroker, Michael James Parker, my co-author Phil Johnstone, Lotte Reimer and comrades from Red Leicester street choir. The London launch of A Nuclear Refrain is the following evening at Housemans: spread the word to friends, comrades and colleagues. And do come along, it'll be emotional
Thrilled and honoured to have collaborated with Egil Heine Strand and Lotte Reimes on our song "Also In Dark Times". Lotte put a tune to my lyrics and Egil arranged it for a three part harmony. This is an international effort and a pleasure to be a part of - Egil is musical director of Norwegian socialist choir SJOKK. Now my own choir, Cor Gobaith, are starting to learn the song, which is grest. The lyrics were inspired by a famous quote from Bertolt Brecht, which I ran across in Lynne Seagal's inspiring book Radical Happiness. The arrangement, however, is more Bacharach than Brecht - more make it easy on yourself than show me the way to the next whiskey bar. And I'll gladly forward it to anyone who would like to sing it. Watch this space for links to YouTube videos of the song and its parts being sung.
ALSO IN DARK TIMESA
Dedicated to Cynthia Cockburn.
Yes, in dark times there will be singing
Yes, in dark times we’ll write new songs
For in dark times we will bringing
Words and music, right the wrongs
Yes, in dark times there will be dancing
Yes, in dark times we will all dance
And in dark times we’ll be advancing
Step by step to take our chance
Yes, in dark times there will be joking
Yes, in dark times we will poke fun
For in dark times joy must be woken
Laugh at tyrants, everyone
Also, in dark times there will be loving
Yes, in dark times we will make love
For in dark times there is nothing
No power on Earth nor up above…
Can stop us acting up together
Keep us from taking to the street
Stamping boots of vegan leather
We’ll dance the darkness off its feet!
Love, laugh, dance and sing together
Close, but no... Oh yes, there is a cigar!
"So why isn’t the threat of nuclear war today as present or terrifying to us as it was in (Olof) Palme’s day? Is it simply that the nuclear threat is so ubiquitous, so diffuse and irrational? North Korea? Isis? Iran? Russia? China? Or today’s White House with its born-again evangelists dreaming of the Rapture? Better to invest our existential fears in things we understand: bushfires, melting icebergs, and the uncomfortable truths of Greta Thunberg."
John Le Carre, The Guardian, 01 February 2020
A Nuclear Refrain is out now: read it and weep (and think, and laugh, and then - hopefully - act)
I am he as you are he as you are me, and we are all together
I said, hey what's going on?
A story, essay, lyric or rhyme with no reason almost every day... or at least sometimes, randomly