08 January 2008

Sing A Song of Khalistan Just A Little Wry*

I was not going to write this post, but I am surrounded by a small army of Kaurs, the same ones who saved my life back in April 2006, and they are demanding that it be posted. It is hard to resist a group of people to whom I owe my life, so if this all seems a bit self-indulgent....you know.

As I often do, I was singing this song, which you may know. But as I was singing, the words began to change. Read these through, about Joe Hill, a hero and martyr of the International Workers of the World (IWW - the Wobblies) in the American Labour movement of the early twentieth century.


by Alfred Hayes

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
Alive as you and me
Says I "But Joe, you're ten years dead"
"I never died" says he,
"I never died" says he.

"In Salt Lake, Joe, by God" says I,
Him standing by my bed
"They framed you on a murder charge"
Says Joe "But I ain't dead,"
Says Joe "But I ain't dead."

"The copper bosses killed you Joe,
They shot you Joe" says I
"Takes more than guns to kill a man"
Says Joe "I didn't die,"
Says Joe "I didn't die."

And standing there as big as life,
And smiling with his eyes
Joe says "What they forgot to kill
Went on to organize,
Went on to organize."

"Joe Hill ain't dead" he says to me,
"Joe Hill ain't never died
Where workingmen are out on strike
Joe Hill is at their side,
Joe Hill is at their side."

From San Diego up to Maine,
In every mine and mill,
Where workers strike and organize,
Says he "You'll find Joe Hill,"
Says he "You'll find Joe Hill."

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
Alive as you and me
Says I "But Joe, you're ten years dead"
"I never died" says he,
"I never died" says he.

And as I sang on, the words changed, as often happens when I 'sing.' Eventually they became the words my Kaurs insist I share with you. I share with some apology.

But maybe some of you know the melody and can sing them. If you would like to hear the melody, it can be found at: The Ballad of Joe Hill sung by in the lovely soprano of Joan Baez, as she sang it at the Woodstock Festival, 1969. Please don't be put off by the French site. The antiSikh French will not profit from your going here. I promise.

Now my poor attempt at being a lyricist:

I dreamed I saw Sant Ji last night
Alive as you or me.
Says I, "Sant Ji, you're decades dead."
"I never died," says he.
"I never died," says he.

"In Amritsar in June," says I
Him standing by my bed.
"They killed you as a terrorist."
Says he, "But I ain't dead,"
Says he, "But I ain't dead."

Indira's** army, killed you , Ji,
They shot you, Ji," says I.
"Takes more than guns to kill a man,"
Says he, "I didn't die,"
Says he, "I didn't die."

And standing there as big as life
And smiling with his eyes,
"From that which they can never kill,
Our Khalistan shall rise,
Our Khalistan shall rise."

"Bhindranwale lives," says he,
"Because he never died.
Wherever Guru's Khalsa live,
There I am at their side,
There I am at your side."

"From Amritsar to Surrey town,
In gurdwaras great and small
Where Khalistan is dreamed of still,
I am with them all.
I am with them all."

I dreamed I saw Sant Ji last night
Alive as you and me.
"Sant Ji, says I, you're decades dead!"
"I never died," says he,
"I never died," says he.

**There are other possibilities here 'that bitch's army' being one of the more polite.

*The title is a take-off on an English nursery rhyme: Sing A Song Of Six Pence, A Pocket Full Of Rye.

The (Non)Deportation of Laibar Singh - A Video

While surfing YouTube today, I came across this report from 10 Dec 07. Good grief! Almost a month ago. I thought you would probably enjoy it. I am also including the link to that page, as I have noticed that YouTube Videos in blogs sometimes mysteriously disappear.

I'm curious about something. No one here has commented on the new header picture. I would think that a lonely body deserted on the railroad tracks might be sufficiently provocative that some one might say something.