Monday, March 28, 2011

Love Is Our Nationality

This lovely song was recorded by the California collective Build an Ark on their first record "Peace With Every Step" back in 2003. I suppose this music is called jazz, but that seems really inadequate. I'm not sure I understand why the urge to make peace is always the first thing set aside. At the risk of sounding like a naive flower child, making the world better begins with one's own personal actions. Are they not as simple as this song suggests?

"Let's make peace
And stop the war
Let's make peace
And stop the war

Put down your gun
Pick up your baby
Undo your collar
Open up your arms
Strip off your uniform
Salute to your equal
Unpin your badge
Reveal your ribcage
Dismount your tomahawk
Untrain your tongue
Swallow your mushroom cloud
Civilize your crosshairs

Aw put down your gun
Pick up your baby
We are citizens of each other
We learn hope from one another's past
We are together
We are sweet-talking freedom fighters
We are literacy to curious children
Pattycake and pickup sticks played with bilingual rules
We are citizens of each other
No soldiers trample our ancient passion
When we are together we erase our fear of fear
We stand at attention without rifles
We march to the cadence of dreams
Love is our nationality

Our embassy safeguards persecuted touch
We are ambassadors of intimacy
We are diplomats of secret whispers
We are beauty without flags
We are emotions elected by a landslide
Giddyup love giddyup
Show me the power eyes inflamed with doubt can witness
Giddyup giddyup
Dress the morning sky in crimson when I pray
Giddyup giddyup
Spread moss under my feet when I dance after sunset's call
Giddyup giddyup
Show me love
Show me power
Put down your gun, pick up your baby..."

May it be so.

The main vocal is by Peter Harris, who also wrote the poetic lyric. The music is by Build An Ark, based on a theme by Funk Inc. Transcribed by me. You can try looking for this album or any of their excellent followups at

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