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Related Songs

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(Rhiannon Giddens, Amythyst Kiah, Leyla McCalla, Allison Russell)
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Songs of our Native Daughters (Smithsonian Folkways, 2019)
songs

Amythyst Kiah, vocals, 5-string banjo, and percussion;
Rhiannon Giddens, backing vocals, minstrel banjo, and percussion;
Allison Russell, percussion;
Jamie Dick, drums and percussion;
Dirk Powell, electric guitar and percussion;
Jason Sypher, bass and percussion

La voce di Kiah diventa ancora protagonista in “Blood and Bones” scritta di suo pugno.  
blogfoolk.com

The chorus to this song had been floating around in my head, given life by my voice and banjo, but it didn’t really have a home in a song. I wrote it not long after reading reports and watching videos of white nationalists feeling more confident about asserting their views after the election of Donald Trump in 2016. There’s “not enough steel to reconcile” our humanity and our sense of selves. The verses were inspired by both a photo I saw of a black slave child holding a white baby and slave narratives. In them, Alli and I were describ- ing the way the binding of black slave and white master created a sickness that was terrifying for both parties, but especially exacted a price from the slave. My chorus, written in response to today’s issues, ended up bridging the past. — AK

The institution of slavery twisted and distorted and dehumanized the slaver as well as the enslaved. Rampant rape meant that many slave owners were in fact keeping their own biological children in slavery—they were selling their own flesh and blood, selling and abusing their white children’s half-siblings. Only recently has Sally Hemings—Thomas Jefferson’s slave “mistress” (if one can be called a mistress where there is no possibility of consent) for four decades and mother of six of his children (whom Jefferson eventually emancipated) —been acknowledged as a deeply significant figure in American history. It is impossible to understand the full story behind the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the founding of the land of the “free”; impossible to decipher the character, contradictions, dichotomies, and challenges of this brave, young, imperfect Republic without reclaiming these glaring omissions in the narrative. The tangled, toxic webs of broken family dysfunction and abuse reverberate still and have repercussions that impact our society and culture today. — AR
Dal libretto dell'album
Blood and bones are what we're made of
Not enough steel to reconcile
Crying out into the darkness
One sure way to feel alive
Demon mouths lined with halos
Thinly veiled but no surprise
Rest assured a welcomed surplus
Of systematic lies

This child ain't mine but my hands are tied
Full of life and her skin is white
Under my care she'll play and thrive
In a few years, I'll be cast aside

I was once a noble daughter
Our kingdom spanned the breadth of Ghana
But I was captured for the silver
Sent across the sea to a land unknown

Our rival sold me to some white man
Skin as though it came from heaven
When they bound us to their will
They trapped themselves in hell as well

Blood and bones are what we're made of
Not enough steel to reconcile
Crying out into the darkness
One sure way to feel alive
Demon mouths lined with halos
Thinly veiled but no surprise
Rest assured a welcomed surplus
Of systematic lies

One brother white, the other black
One brother loved, the other strapped
One brother kept, the other sold
Kinship denied is kinship still

Bread and bone is bathed in blood
Two brothers beg for light and love
White father twisting his own soul
To deny what all must know

Blood and bones are what we're made of
Not enough steel to reconcile
Crying out into the darkness
One sure way to feel alive
Demon mouths lined with halos
Thinly veiled but no surprise
Rest assured a welcomed surplus
Of systematic lies

Blood and bones are what we're made of
Not enough steel to reconcile
Crying out into the darkness
One sure way to feel alive
Demon mouths lined with halos
Thinly veiled but no surprise
Rest assured a welcomed surplus
Of systematic lies

Contributed by Dq82 - 2019/4/13 - 18:03



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