Before the War Came Home

from by David Rovics

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There's freedom of speech. There are innocent victims. There is the crushing legacy of colonialism, racism and empire. And there are roosting chickens, blowback, inevitability.


Millions of people from the colonies
Were living in the far-away cities
Home of those who killed their country
Who tried for over a century
To bring Jesus back to Africa
From Mali to Algeria
And they fired into the protesters
Dumped them in the rivers

There were lots of folks getting along
Lots of folks feeling they'd been wronged
In the crowded Paris streets
In the patrol car's back seats
In the land of the catechism
In the land of secularism
Where the learned taught the learning
Where the cars were sometimes burning

Before the war came home
Before the war came home

There was rising real estate
Fear of the Caliphate
No question what it meant
When Le Pen got 25%
Fighter jets in flight
Lighting up the night
More enemies were made
When the armies of the west invaded

There were lots of talking heads
Quoting something someone said
There were blasphemous cartoons
Pouring salt upon the wounds
More countries to attack
Now Syria, now Iraq
Fighters returning
Who had seen the cities burning


There were people in the cafes
Having meetings, drinking au laits
There were tourists in the tower
There were girls picking flowers
There were Muslims praying
There were others saying
This is a secular nation
No room for religious demonstration

There were people talking about blowback
There were occasional attacks
There were many people asking
What kind of beer was brewing
There were ringing church bells
And Al-Qaeda sleeper cells
Passersby without a clue
What those masked men were about to do



from The Other Side, released August 31, 2015




David Rovics Portland, Oregon

"Absolutely brilliant. David Rovics says exactly what needs to be said."
Ian McMillan, BBC


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