Music as a Response to War

In 2003, when American president George Bush attacked Iraq, a nation that had nothing to do with the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York and also a nation that had no capability or intention of attacking the United States, I felt betrayed by my own government as the Bush administration told lie after lie about the reasons for this war, and so I wrote the following songs.

I estimate 85-95% of human beings on this planet despise war. I assume most people cherish peace, want peace and care about the state of our world. It’s only the few thugs, psychopaths, sadists, weapons dealers and fascist politicians on both the left and right who still believe in “might makes right” and violent solutions to complex social, economic and political problems. May these people go the way of cannibalism, the dodo bird and dinosaurs. The Russian aggression upon Ukraine is the latest traumatic event that shows what happens because we lack a global security system with courts and laws that can hold to account leaders of any and all nations that choose violence to achieve their goals.

I sought out poetry that best expressed what I was feeling and set two anti-war poems to music. The first poem, Dulce et Decorum Est, was written by Wilfred Owen, about his experience as a soldier in World War I. He was later killed in that war. The second poem, Lament to the Spirit of War was written in Mesopotamia (later to be called Iraq) several thousand years ago by the daughter of a high Mesopotamian official. Enheduanna is known as the first woman anti-war poet.

These are not pop songs or folk songs so they are not for everyone.

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