One Day in Kenya

from by David Rovics

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lyrics

It’s a long way from Nairobi, travel across the country
To an arid northern little border town
If you leave early in the day you’ll still be on your way
Long after the sun is going down
It began as just a ride to the other side
But then was interrupted by the sound
Of the shattering of glass as the driver tried to pass
The men with guns there on the dusty desert ground

There were two already dead, another shot as she fled
No question here whose lives were now at stake
When all is said and done it is instances like this one
When every move is one that just might make or break
All passengers get out, men with guns began to shout
You Christians now get up against the wall
But then everyone stayed still, saying now do as you will
You may leave, or you may kill us all

It wasn’t far away, just over a year ago today
When people were massacred exactly in this manner
The pattern it was clear, all the Muslims here
Would be safe if they just stood beside this banner
Headscarves passed from hand to hand among this human band
Live together or together fall
And then nobody moved, showing each of them approved
Of saying you may leave, or you may kill us all

It wasn’t set in stone – there’s no way they could have known
That this time this act of solidarity
Would see the gunmen leave, goals left unachieved
On the border there in Mandera County
But sometimes you take a chance, then at a second glance
You see you’ve changed the world with the passing of a shawl
There are those who will remember those who on one day in December
Said you may leave, or you may kill us all

credits

from Letter to My Landlord, released March 28, 2016

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David Rovics Portland, Oregon

"Absolutely brilliant. David Rovics says exactly what needs to be said."
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