Monday, February 8, 2010

What the Birds Say

“I want someone to tell me what the birds say; the world is changin’ and I don’t know which way” I wrote this line in my song a long time ago but didn’t complete the song until 9/11. On that day, there were no sounds of cars from the freeway, no planes overhead except military jets late in the day. There was a very deep silence which I’d never heard before. I went into the studio to try to deal with my feelings, finished the verses and recorded a rough arrangement of “What the Birds Say” for the first time.

In 2007, I looked at this song again - after I had completed my film “Dust and Deceit” about the toxic dust of 9/11. It seemed even more relevant.

And just this past month, the Obama administration has expressed its refusal to support HR 847, the 9/11 First Responders Health Bill.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius made clear that “the administration does not support any kind of funding mechanism that’s built into the bill”. Bronx Representative Eliot Engel said, “They find money for everything else, they need to find money for this.” Then, as if in response to the outrage, Obama announced that his administration will double the budget for treating sick responders to $150 millionby 2011. When one considers the more than $100 billion spent per year in continuing and expanding Bush’s wars, it seems like a token PR effort.

Those who are sick from the dust of 9/11 are like the canaries in the cage. If there is another incident, how will the government respond? What have we learned from 9/11? From Katrina? It is the responsibility of government to take our tax dollars to protect and serve. In the case of the toxic dust, the heros of 9/11 who went down to Ground Zero to help were lied to government officials and the media. They were told over and over that the air was safe to breathe, documents were manipulated, and as a result, thousands are suffering, many have died.

Please check out the Feal Good Foundation if you would like to help first responders of 9/11.

A rough mix of “What the Birds Say”
is available at Pledge Music.

Addendum: I’ve heard that the birds have been disappearing, tens of millions of them not showing up at their regular migrational places. What have we done to make the birds disappear? We’re losing more than their songs. The Audubon Society reports that some species are down by up to 80 percent because of dramatic environmental changes. Here are some excerpts from a CBC special in Canada:

We cannot lose the bird song, we cannot lose our songs, our soul. There is going to be a change, and I hope it’s going to be from us.

I am really feeling like I can’t wait to share this music. It’s like sending letters out to my friends, letters to the world. I wanted to name the album “Letters to the world” --but then “Wild wild land” seems so appropriate. It’s crazy wild times we live in; and I really "don’t know know what this is all for...". this song encapsulates what I’m feeling about living in Twenty Ten.

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