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You Only Need Say Nothing

Roger Lucey
Language: English

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written late in 1977
1979
Parole e musica di Roger Lucey, cantautore sudafricano, bianco.
Nell’album intitolato “The Road is Much Longer”, pubblicato nel 1979
The Road is Much Longer…

Nel 2000 Roger Lucey ha pubblicato una raccolta dal titolo "21 Years Down The Road", con la stessa copertina di “The Road is Much Longer”
21 Years Down The Road

Capita che in rete non si riescano a trovare dei testi, dei testi che ci interessano particolarmente, e allora una delle vie è provare a chiedere direttamente agli autori. Così ho fatto, spedito una mail direttamente a Roger Lucey che mi ha inviato questo testo e quelli che seguono.

Roger Lucey è un cantautore bianco sudafricano, a causa dei contenuti dei suoi testi anti-Apartheid fu censurato e la sua carriera pressoché stroncata.

Peter Jones
Peter Jones


This biography is an extract from a newspaper article on Peter Jones written by by Khuthala Nandipha for 'City Press', September 2007.

"Biko’s comrade-in-arms still working to improve the lives of rural poor"

“I only heard of Steve’s death the day after the funeral, three weeks after his death,” Peter Jones remembers sadly.

Steve Biko and Jones were arrested in Grahamstown but separated in Port Elizabeth. Jones was held at the Algoa Park police cells.

“Although I was very anxious during all this time and feared for the safety of some of the many comrades that were arrested after our own arrest, I did not for a moment think of Steve’s safety,” says Jones.

“He just did not feature in my mind as a victim of any kind,” he adds.

Hundreds of young protesters were arrested on returning home from Biko’s funeral.

Jones says he tried to speak to some detainees in a cell next to his. When they learnt that Jones was next door, he says, they started screaming until the police broke this up violently.

It was then that Jones learnt that they had attended Biko’s funeral in King Williams Town.

“Steve’s death left me with no words. I sat with what can only be described as a heavy blow to the chest- a persistent pressure, an inconsolability persisting for many years,” he says.

Jones and Biko, both members of the Black People’s Convention, were travelling together when they were arrested on August 18, 1977.

They were returning form a meeting in Cape Town which had been cancelled, when they hit a road block in Grahamstown.

Jones says the Pan African Congress and African National Congress wanted to canvass support for unity across the liberation spectrum at the meeting.

“Steve and I aborted the meeting after we arrived in Cape Town and several strange incidents happened that made us feel very uneasy and unsafe.”

Jones visited Biko’s friends and family in 1984 when his banning order expired.

“I looked in the sad eyes of some of our friends and when I finally embraced Mamcethe, Steve’s mother, I just broke down.”

Jones and Biko became close at a Black People’s Convention congress in January 1977.

Biko was elected as honorary president and Jones the national secretary for economics and finance.

“Steve had a funny and happy demeanour,” says Jones. “He was serious and committed to his work for the people, like the rest of us. His capacity and fearlessness for people- all kinds, good ones or evil – was something to be experienced.”

The two spent a lot of time with their political counterparts in King William’s Town.

“Steve and I shared a somewhat frenetic interaction on a daily basis, but would have moments where we were able to be quiet with each other, in fellowship and reflective.

“This would also occur in the wee hours of the morning, when the crowd had departed.”

Biko’s death did not deter Jones. He continued to strive for a better life for black people.

He has since moved back to the Eastern Cape and is involved in a sustainable development and integrated rural village renewal programme.

Much like Biko, Jones is working on ensuring that communal lands, where the majority of poor South Africans live, “be turned into productive, economically functioning areas in the shortest possible time using self-reliance methodologies.”

South Africa History
There's a beggar sitting legless
On a pavement in the town
Hoping just to catch your eye
Hoping that you'll look down
And he shifts his tired body
And counts the coppers that he's begged
And wonders will he get home first
Or will he first get mugged

And you know that it's so damned easy
To turn and look away
And you only need say nothing
To have nothing at all to say

There's teargas at the funeral of a boy gunned down by cops
They say that there are too many mourners
And this is where is stops
Then they bring on the boots and the batons
And the blood runs fear and cold
And the moral of the exercise
Is to do what you are told

And you know that it's so damned easy
To turn and look away
And you only need say nothing
To have nothing at all to say

Down in Grahamstown prison
Sat Peter Jones alone
For seventeen months he sat there
And nothing was done
And then they released him
And just as soon they banned him
And cops didn't say a thing
But the waiting, deadly scorpion
Just sharpens up his sting

And you know that it's so damned easy
To turn and look away
And you only need say nothing
To have nothing at all to say

There's war on all the borders
And there's war in every town
And if you take notice
It will only bring you down
And if you turn and look away
There's a bullet in your back
You're either under firm control
Or you're under attack

And you know that it's so damned easy
To turn and look away
And you only need say nothing
To have nothing at all to say

You can say that you belong nowhere
That this is just another place
You can hitch your body to the stars
Or hide behind your face
But the guns are just as physical
As the flesh you lug around
And if you cannot ride those stars
Then you're riding right on the ground

Contributed by dq82 + Roger Lucey - 2016/3/4 - 09:33


Straight to the censors
They were even angrier when Lucey recorded The Road Is Much Longer at 3rd Ear Records. With “instigating” songs such as Lungile Tabalaza and You Only Need Say Nothing, it was sent straight to the censors at the Publications Board.

The former was about a young man who “jumped” to his death from the fifth floor at the branch’s offices in Port Elizabeth.

The latter had lyrics such as “And there’s teargas at the funeral of a boy gunned down by cops/ They say that there are too many mourners and this is where it stops/ And the moral of the episode — Is to do what you are told”.

To impress his bosses, Erasmus went to work even before the censors. In between planting bombs, harassing Winnie Mandela and about 500 other transgressions, the overzealous cop focused his attention on Lucey.

He called WEA Records (they distributed LPs for 3rd Ear Records) and told them the record was banned. “I also planted the seed that Roger was a ‘prime suspect’, connected with either the ANC/SACP [South African Communist Party] and dropped the hint that he was facing imminent arrest. WEA were aghast — obviously investing and promoting Lucey was not going to be a profitable venture.”

They refused to distribute any further copies of the record.

Erasmus went personally to Hillbrow Records, then South Africa’s largest record store, and confiscated 20 of Lucey’s records.

“We kept monitoring Roger’s live shows, stopping one at a Braamfontein [Johannesburg] restaurant in mid ‘track’ … by pouring CS (tear gas powder) into the air conditioning and watching the evacuation from across the road with great amusement! This ‘action’ was followed up by a series of phone calls threatening to blow up the restaurant if they continued with his shows. No surprise that his gigs didn’t last long.”

Threatening phone calls and even threats of bombs at the venue meant that Lucey’s concerts dried up — the last one was in 1983 Lucey’s first record was banned and the second was never released.

Ten years later Erasmus resigned. He later gave evidence at the Truth commission about all the dirty tricks and was granted amnesty in November 2000.

Apart from a short epilogue about Lucey and Erasmus, Back in from the Anger ends in 1995, begging for another book about what happened next. “There is another story. Jacana seem keen that I continue the story,” says Lucey. “A lot of amazing things happened … there were certain parts that weren’t so nice but they were interesting.”

Mail&Guardian

dq82 - 2016/3/4 - 09:34



Language: Italian

Traduzione italiana
NON C'E' BISOGNO DI DIRE NIENTE

C'è un mendicante senza gambe seduto
Su un marciapiede della città
Che spera solo di attirare il tuo sguardo
Sperando che tu guardi in basso
E trascina il suo corpo stanco
E conta gli spiccioli che ha elemosinato
E si chiede se farà in tempo a tornare a casa
Oppure sarà prima aggredito

E si sa che è così dannatamente facile
girarsi e distogliere lo sguardo
e non c'è bisogno di dire niente
Per avere niente da dire

Ci sono gas lacrimogeni al funerale di un ragazzo ucciso dai poliziotti
Dicono che ci sono troppe persone in lutto
Ed è qui che ci si ferma
Poi portano gli stivali e i manganelli
E il sangue scorre, paura e freddo
E la morale dell'esercitazione
È quello di fare quello che vi viene detto

E si sa che è così dannatamente facile
girarsi e distogliere lo sguardo
e non c'è bisogno di dire niente
Per avere niente da dire

Giù nella prigione di Grahamstown
Peter Jones sta seduto da solo
Per diciassette mesi è stato lì seduto
E nulla è stato fatto
E poi lo hanno rilasciato
E non appena lo hanno espulso
E i poliziotti non hanno detto una parola
Ma nell'attesa, lo scorpione letale
affila il suo pungiglione

E si sa che è così dannatamente facile
girarsi e distogliere lo sguardo
e non c'è bisogno di dire niente
Per avere niente da dire

C'è la guerra su tutti i confini
E c'è la guerra in ogni città
E se apprendi la notizia
ti porterà solo giù
E se ti giri e guardi lontano
C'è una pallottola nella tua schiena
Tu sei sotto stretto controllo
O sei sotto attacco

E si sa che è così dannatamente facile
girarsi e distogliere lo sguardo
e non c'è bisogno di dire niente
Per avere niente da dire

Si può dire che non appartieni ad alcun luogo
Che questo è solo un altro posto
puoi legare il tuo corpo alle stelle
O nascondere dietro la faccia
Ma le armi sono solamente reali
Come la carne, che vi portate dietro
E se non puoi cavalcare quelle stelle
Allora sei in sella per terra.

Contributed by dq82 - 2016/11/11 - 10:07



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