Raw Thought

by Aaron Swartz

Colombia is Bleeding

Nellie McKay is having trouble getting her new album, Pretty Little Head, released, apparently due to the content of artistic differences with the record label. The best song on the album, and one that is particularly mentioned in this regard, is “Columbia is Bleeding”, her vicious portrayal of college life while students are oblivious to the animal torture going on around them.

However, it seems like the song might really be more appropriate for a different Colombia. Here, then, are those lyrics…

another day begins
you check the news
here come the footstep of the man who’ll end your life
the rifle’s is fitted in
and there you are
the shot is targeted
then a scream

hold your placard up / cold and coffee cup
after go to a bar
hand your flier out / must admire
how dedicated you are
i don’t wanna know if biz is boomin’
or the goods you make are on sale
i don’t wanna know ‘bout your “saintly glow” or your “noble” show
or if you think you ought to bail

Chris Hogan / she had to run
last night’d been a lot of fun
but now it’s french / a little tense
she hadn’t done the reading
there she sat / hoped to pass
didn’t think to face the fact
that oh by gosh o lack o lass
colombia is bleeding
walkin’ down / off the bus
Vicky Lucas crossed campus was
thinkin’ how she’s made it now
that successful feeling
walked by fast / hoped to pass no clue ‘bout the shirt she has
and while she’s sittin’ in lit class
colombia is bleeding

the union is in town
and there they are
the forces come on down
then a scream

everybody knows protesters are those
schmoes who don’t have a life
see these businessmen seeking profit and
have to suffer such strife
i don’t wanna know if the world is flat
or you can’t check your email
i don’t wanna know if your cell won’t work or that guy’s a jerk
or if you think you ought to bail

generalize, proselytize, verbs were spillin’ out their sides
as Charles Eise buys his supplies gets ready for a meeting
tried for track / hit the mat
didn’t think to face the fact
that while he’s thinkin’ “man, that’s wack!”
colombia is bleeding
quite a snob he didn’t tip
nice guy Rob watched the eclipse
and looked around / “i’ve made it now
i’m just so glad to be here”
made a pass / got hand slapped
didn’t think to face the fact
that while he’s mackin’ on that ass
colombia is bleeding

the catholic religion
decides to help the poor
while we rename the school in
which we train the men and
then a scream

they’re just criminals / make good worker cells
pushing drugs and disease
empire’s pretty fun / we got power, son
we can do as we please
i don’t wanna know ‘bout your drug war claims
or how it’s gonna fail
i don’t wanna know if you need to show you’re a real madman
or you think you’re gonna bail

Tee-Tee Green / pressed mezzanine
ended up beside the team
and gave a cheer / got some beers
with friends who started drinkin’
back with Zach said “i look fat”
didn’t think to face the fact
that while she’s under self-attack
colombia is bleeding
Rodney J. began to pray
his momma lost her life that day
had been a year / it wasn’t clear
if he was safe or screamin’
as he jabbed the bible flap
he didn’t think to face the beast
of profiteering that killed the priest
colombia is bleeding

this is america

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January 4, 2006


I hadn’t heard of Nellie McKay - thanks for the tip. Is that your own rewrite of her lyrics? Would have thought you would have given a link to Nellie’s original version, available at http://www.nelliemckay.net/lyrics_Columbia.html


posted by Ian Gregory on January 10, 2006 #

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