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Friday, 8 January 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 8 - People Have The Power



I haven't be able to get Patti Smith's People Have The Power out of my head for a good number of months now, mainly this is because U2 have been using it as their intro music on their current tour (I've listened to and watched quite a number of shows) and have even played it as part of the set more than a couple of times including performances with Patti in Paris, London and again in Paris with The Eagles of Death Metal.

It's a song I was quite taken with the very first time I heard it way back when Patti Smith released her first album for 9 years back in 1988 - Dream of Life.  It was the first album after the disbanding of The Patti Smith Group and after a lengthy lay off of semi-retirement where she had married Fred "Sonic" Smith (MC5) and raised her family. More years of quiet followed it's release and were disturbed by the death in 1994 of husband Fred, and her brother's unexpected death led her to move back to New York and was encouraged by close friends to consider getting back on the road again. The 'Gone Again' album would be the result of a return to making new music.

The song is all about Change and it was picked up by Bruce Springsteen for the Vote For Change Tour in 2004 when he performed it with the likes of R.E.M.

Politically People Have the Power to bring change by using their vote (sadly though not everyone uses it and a low turnout often causes the very ones people want out to remain in power). 

In the UK when the Labour Party was looking for a new leader following their dismal showing in the General Election the People rose up to back Jeremy Corbyn for his down to earth common sense and promise of a new kind of politics. The Labour Party added more than a 100,000 new members as a result and with a majority Corbyn was elected the leader of the party.

In the USA Bernie Sanders has been making waves in an effort to secure the Democratic Nomination for President and like Corbyn, there is something down right earthy, honest and practical about his politics. Parts of the media in the USA seem to be seeking his downfall but his support continues to grow thanks to The People!

People Power has been evident in so many places as Governments have often failed the poorest and most vulnerable of our societies and the result has seen organizations rise up with the desire to help meet the needs of those less fortunate with Food Banks, disaster relief, the desire to help house refugees etc. Even in the UK recently with all the flooding in parts of Northern Britian, the Government has been slow to respond with aid and once again it's the People rising up to help families rebuild their homes that have been wrecked by the floodwaters, provide shelter, food and clothes. These helpers have come from far and wide representing many different communities, some traveling many miles to reach out a hand of generoisty and humanity.

I didn't necessarily want to go into a big political spotlight with this but it's there and can't really be avoided. It's a song that makes you realise that You and I can make a difference in our world and I guess that's always a good message to hear.







People Have the Power
Patti Smith and Fred "Sonic" Smith

 I was dreamin' in my dreamin'
Of an aspect bright and fair
And my sleepin' it was broken
But my dream it lingered near
In the form of shinin' valleys
Where the pure air recognized
Oh, and my senses newly opened
And I awakened to the cry
And the people have the power
To redeem the work of fools
From the meek the graces shower
It's decreed the people rule
People have the power
People have the power
People have the power
People have the power
Vengeful aspects became suspect
And bending low as if to hear
Well, and the armies ceased advancin'
Because the people had their ear
And the shepherds and the soldiers
And they laid among the stars
Exchanging visions, layin' arms
To waste in the dust
In the form of shinin' valleys
Where the pure air recognized
And my senses newly opened
And I awakened to the cry
People have the power
People have the power
People have the power
People have the power
Where there were deserts, I saw fountains
Like cream the waters rise
And we strolled there together
With none to laugh or criticize
There is no leopard and the lamb
And lay together truly bound
Well I was hopin' in my hopin'
To recall what I had found
Well I was dreamin' in my dreamin'
God knows a pure view
As I lay down into my sleepin'
And I commit my dream with you
People have the power
People have the power
People have the power
People have the power
The power to dream, to rule
To wrestle the earth from fools
But it's decreed the people rule
But it's decreed the people rule
Listen, I believe everythin' we dream
Can come to pass through our union
We can turn the world around
We can turn the earth's revolution
We have the power
People have the power
People have the power
People have the power
The power to dream, to rule
To wrestle the earth from fools
But it's decreed the people rule
But it's decreed the people rule
We have the power
We have the power
People have the power
We have the power



Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!
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