Haiti – a song

There’s little need to try and capture the sheer devastation wrought by last week’s earthquake in Haiti.  It’s impossible to follow the news without feeling daily sickened about a country that had much promise long ago as an idea, but in practice has been little more than a compendium of uncertainty, desperation, and perseverance in the face of failure.  All week long, this song by Arcade Fire has been going through my mind.  Lyrically unattached to the earthquake itself, but like much good music and good writing, it captures what has just happened to the country.  An unofficial video here.

HAITI — Arcade Fire

Haiti, mon pays
Wounded mother I’ll never see
Ma famille set me free
Throw my ashes into the sea

Mes cousins jamais nes
Hantent les nuits de Duvalier
Rien n’arrete nos espirits
Guns can’t kill what soldiers can’t see

In the forest we are hiding
Unmarked graves where flowers grow
Hear the soldiers angry yelling
In the river we will go

Tous les morts-nes forment une armee
Soon we will reclaim the earth
All the tears and all the bodies
Bring about our second birth

Haiti, never free
N’aie pas peur de sonner l’alarme
Tes enfants sont partis
In those days their blood was still warm


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