Hiraeth

by Cosmo

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1.
Last night I dreamt the neon signs came crashing down Shattered shopfront glass like jewels lay all around Checkpoints deserted, No-one in the soldiers' sights Could this be real? Just for tonight? These streets are ours This land is ours Aspiration on remand, imprisoned in our minds Bodies violated, rotting doing time Youth we can't protect, is aspiration such a crime? Right here, right now we crossed the line These streets are ours This land is ours Where we going now the way is clear? What's the vision now we have no fear? tell me how are we to fill this space? Self respect or just get off your face? Paint the sky or fill the air with song? Work, study, party all night long? Love and hope or sit around and laze? Endless ways to fill up endless days... When I awoke the neon signs came crashing down Shattered shopfront glass like jewels lay all around Checkpoint manned with soldiers in their tanks and jeeps The teargas put me back to sleep... These streets are ours This land is ours
2.
Sometimes I see them in the street, a nasty, loud-mouthed lot Shouting insults as I pass, they put me on the spot I turn away, avoid their gaze – I know their sort too well Your difference or your weakness an excuse to give you hell Just ignore ‘em, just ignore ‘em That’s what people say If you do it long enough they’ll surely go away Just ignore ‘em, just ignore ‘em Just keep walking on Don’t give them the oxygen and soon they’ll all be gone Now that times are tougher I can see them on the streets With their banners, voices raised, propaganda sheets Someone’s filled their heads with words that direct all their hate Now they’ve got real targets they grow at a mighty rate Just ignore ‘em, just ignore ‘em You know the routine You don’t want any trouble, you don’t want to be seen Just ignore ‘em, just ignore ‘em Let’s just hope it stops Ignore the city centre ‘cos they’re helped out by the cops Now that it’s all gone awry, what’s all this we see? These people have got uniforms, guns and authority They’re breaking down your door today, they’re taking people out Shocked surprise upon your face, how did this come about? Just ignore ‘em, just ignore ‘em Heard it all before? The price of our inaction has a lot to answer for Just ignore ‘em, just ignore ‘em Can’t you see their strings? The puppet masters paid them off and now they’re running things.
3.
Oh Wasif, you remember when One summer on the road again That señorita sent my heart a-quiver? You were worried sick about your liver? Every village opened up its arms? Guitar and oud our lucky charms? A smoke, a drink for our renown? Partying as the sun went down? Oh Wasif, how the nights were long Full of love and dance and song And how we managed to pretend To ourselves it would never end In the days before the floods Broken hearts, so much bad blood Now we’re wallowing in sweet despair Like the end of a love affair The gendarmes had their work cut out Seeing you and me lolling about What a crazy situation Different takes on immigration But when all the boot boys came You and I felt exactly the same We both knew we were in the right Even though we’re both crap in a fight Oh Wasif, how the nights were long Full of love and dance and song And how we managed to pretend To ourselves it would never end In the days before the floods Broken hearts, so much bad blood Now we’re wallowing in sweet despair Like the end of a love affair Last I heard was you left town Trying to get to higher ground Waters rising all about you What would al-Quds do without you? Sat on desolation row Your memories inspire me so And though the reason’s different here The rising tides are coming near Oh Wasif, how the nights were long Full of love and dance and song And how we managed to pretend To ourselves it would never end In the days before the floods Broken hearts, so much bad blood Now we’re wallowing in sweet despair Like the end of a love affair It’s the end of a love affair….
4.
04:14
Hey mister, take your hands off my mum Tell me now, what have you become? All that hate there in your eyes What's it take to brutalise? Dawn raid Why must we suffer? How much more do we have to roam? Dawn raid Tougher and tougher Always just out of reach of home Hey mister, tell me what is this place? Why's it hard to make out your face? If you feel what you're doing's so right Why in hell are you all cloaked in night? Dawn raid Why must we suffer? How much more do we have to roam? Dawn raid Tougher and tougher Always just out of reach of home Now we sit pleading what is our fate? Stuck in limbo how long must we wait? All these horrors surrounding us here Out the world's sight yet the brunt of its fear Dawn raid Why must we suffer? How much more do we have to roam? Dawn raid Tougher and tougher Always just out of reach of home
5.
Now hear the trumpets sound. They're calling you and me. That media glower has more fire power. Than the queen and her armoury. Read all about it Check it out online Choose your poison carefully It takes years to refine You are the subject They're working on your head Fermenting prejudgements Like a cheapo bottle of red Now hear the trumpets sound. They're calling you and me. That media glower has more fire power. Than the queen and her whole army Switch on the airwaves Turn on the TV Keep in the background View it with the family Salaciously insatiable Your gossipy procurer And not the poor against the rich The poor against the poorer Now hear the trumpets sound. They're calling you and me. That media glower has more fire power. Than the queen and her whole navy The girl round the corner Checks out her waistline Puts her fingers down her throat And reckons now she's fine The boy in the cul-de-sac Sees dreams though the glass ceiling The pop stars' pimp toasts every click You just can't beat the feeling Now hear the trumpets sound. They're calling you and me. That media glower has more fire power. Than the queen and her finery A politician in a photo Caught with his pants down The kids now adults hoping That what goes round comes around A D notice slapped on it No more to be said brown faces pay the price And take the flack instead Now hear the trumpets sound. They're calling you and me. That media glower has more fire power. Than the queen and her purity Suddenly the word comes through War is declared Screaming the headlines The subjects all are scared Keep us to your bosom We'll feed you all the facts Putty for our policies This won't hurt, now relax Now hear the trumpets sound. They're calling you and me. That media glower has more fire power. Than the queen and her armoury
6.
The Likes Of Me I can feel your passion Your outraged sense of pain But what is your reason When it's not you in the frame? The stakes could not be higher Thanks for your sympathy But do you know just how it rolls For the likes of me? You read all about it Watch the clips online Listen to the stories From those on the front line In your head it makes sense In your heart empathy But do you know just what it's worth For the likes of me? Last night I lay dreaming As the sun went down I could hear the crackling Of the guns back in the town I saw the walls a-tumble I felt us finally free From all that separates you From the likes of me These hips may bear children Or maybe not who knows? And accidents of birth Should not determine foes Yet sometimes in struggle All that sets us free Is grim determination Of the likes of me
7.
Abdullah's dilemma Abdullah and I sat there down pub one night Whinging over pints because this country is so shyte Abdullah cried out suddenly, "My friend, I have a plan! Let's emigrate to Saudi cos there life is ruddy grand! "It will be great! Bet you a tenner!" And I was caught up in Abdullah's dilemma But at first I wasn't convinced... I looked at him all funny and said "Mate, what do you mean? The stonings, amputations and the lack of booze - bad scene And no more bacon sarnies, this has to be a joke "Oh no!" Abdullah winked at me and dragged me for a toke "It will be great! Bet you a tenner!" And I was caught up in Abdullah's dilemma So what's in it for me then, sunshine? He said: "You can teach English - you'll earn loadsamoney!! And sit round in the sun in a gated community Your petrodollars help to fund the booze and bacon run The natives just won't bother you - the ladies are all fun! It will be great! Bet you a tenner!" And I was caught up in Abdullah's dilemma So what about you then, sunshine? Abdullah said: "Now, me, I am a Muslim but I'm lax So when I move to Saudi it will help me face the facts Maybe in the holy places I'll regain my faith If not I'll call it quits and come and hang out round your place! It will be great! Bet you a tenner!" And I was caught up in Abdullah's dilemma He had me then I tell ya! I thought again, hey what the hell, it must be worth a go So Abdullah and I agreed to Saudi we would go We both worked our bollocks off and got all the airfare Checking on the internet what life was like out there "It will be great! Bet you a tenner!" And I was caught up in Abdullah's dilemma That day in the airport I went through security But they stopped Abdullah and said: "Look! Disloyalty! A British Muslim off to Saudi? You're getting short shrift We've check you're browsing history you're on our no-fly list!" I got on board Chucked him a tenner And I understood Abdullah's dilemma Oh I took off Short of a tenner And I understood Abdullah's dilemma
8.
Rich Man's Law This is where my fate found me With demons sent to confound me And these high walls all around me Bound by a rich man's law He better watch the bed he lies in Think twice about sending spies in My spirit will keep on rising Till I'm bound by his law no more Was it something in the water Running though this makeshift shelter The bodged electrics faltering That heralded my birth? I don't care how you spin it I won't accept this limit On the world and my place it On what I'm really worth The ghetto from the cradle The factory his ladle The crumbs there on his table Our grateful outstretched hands He can't see my thirsting The pressure's close to bursting The one who's last out's first in I think you understand The trinkets and the gimmicks The high life that we mimic It's turned us into cynics Just waiting for a pile Rise up and claim your birthright Hit hard then party all night For sure we'll soon be alright And we'll destroy the files
9.
Searching For Songbirds This is the point where the river Flows out into the sea And in this moment I consecrate There's somewhere calling me Somewhere where this great injustice Is all just a thing of the past And those peacemakers who led us on Are blown away in this blast Yet still I know I'm just dreaming Yet still I know what must be Please take your arms from round me, love There's somewhere calling me This jail they always threaten Is no more jail than this These tears are of no consequence Unless sealed with this kiss
10.
04:00
Speak freely They can’t hear us now No judgment What’s to disavow? There’s nowhere but here For us now Time has clipped it’s wings Hey, songbird Throw your head back, sing There’s nowhere but here Love in a time of war They’re coming I just got the call Till next time Remembrance is all There’s nowhere but here
11.
Last night I dreamt the neon signs came crashing down Shattered shopfront glass like jewels lay all around Checkpoints deserted, No-one in the soldiers' sights Could this be real? Just for tonight? These streets are ours This land is ours Aspiration on remand, imprisoned in our minds Bodies violated, rotting doing time Youth we can't protect, is aspiration such a crime? Right here, right now we crossed the line These streets are ours This land is ours Where we going now the way is clear? What's the vision now we have no fear? Tell me how we gonna fill this space? Stop sitting round and getting off your face! Paint the sky or fill the air with song? Work, study, party all night long? Love and hope or sit around and laze? Endless ways to fill up endless days... When I awoke the neon signs came crashing down Shattered shopfront glass like jewels lay all around Checkpoint manned with soldiers in their tanks and jeeps The teargas put me back to sleep... These streets are ours This land is ours

about

Hiraeth (n) - a Welsh word that doesn't translate well into English. A homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past.

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released October 19, 2015

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Cosmo Cardiff, UK

".. a folksinger for our times with a veritable hive of bees in his bonnet..." Rob Adams, Edinburgh Fringe Review.

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