Isn't That A Shame?

Lorne Clarke & Tom Flannery
Language: English

List of versions

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© 2004 Tom Flannery and Lorne Clarke
a production
Clarke & Flannery love to hear your thoughts on the song cycle. Email them to

This is not a history lesson. We're not historians. We're songwriters. And anyway... how the hell is anybody going to explain the systematic state sponsored slaughter of close to a million people with a handful of songs? We're not.

Truth is, there is no explanation for the Rwandan genocide. What there is in abundance, however, is ignorance. If these songs make just one person dig a little deeper, then we've made our money back, so to speak. We've touched upon specific pieces of the horror, but don't even pretend to be able to understand it from the Rwandan point of view. We're observers from afar. Interested, heartbroken observers....but merely observers nonetheless. Please keep that in mind.

All of these songs are solo acoustic performances...recorded live with a digital 8 track studio in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The full lyrics are available, as are the complete recordings in both mp3 and quicktime formats. Notes for each song are provided, giving some insight into the creative process....and explaining where explanations are necessary. The entire project is only available via the internet. There is no "official" CD of this music. This is strictly an "online" project.
This is partly due to economics, but also because once a CD is released, it can't be changed. We're likely to add new songs here at any time.

Individual essays are also posted, because some ideas that we have probably can't be conveyed using the song form alone. These too will probably grow in time. Also, a brand new play by playwright Tom Flannery called Rwandan Eyes is available exclusively here.

Everything here is free. Listen, distribute freely, discuss.

Do everything but steal.

Tom Flannery & Lorne Clarke.


I wanted to write some notes for this song - to introduce you to the frustration which inspired it. I wanted to tell you all about the excuses that the US admistration had for not intervening in this, the greatest of all crimes against humanity. I wanted to tell you about all these things but I just don't have time.

My kids have music lessons - and school work - and activities -and my car needs repairs - and I have to go to work - and my lawn needs mowing - and - and - and - and well, you see, I just don't have time to deal with this Rwanda thing anymore.

It's a shame, but hey - it's not MY problem... is it?

(Volevo scrivere un paio di note per questa canzone - per farvi conoscere la frustrazione che l'ha ispirata. Volevo parlare a tutti voi delle scuse che l'amministrazione USA utilizza per non intervenire in questa situazione, il più grande di tutti i crimini contro l'umanità. Volevo parlarvi di tutte queste cose, ma non ho avuto tempo.

I miei ragazzi seguono lezioni di musica - e i compiti a casa - e altre attività - e la mia macchina ha bisogno di essere riparata - ed io devo andare a lavoro - il mio prato ha bisogno di essere tagliato - e - e - e - e, beh, vedete, non ho tempo di preoccuparmi ancora di questa storia del Rwanda.

E' una vergogna, ma, hey - non è un MIO problema...non è così?)
Weatherman's callin' for rain tonight
Isn't that a shame?
Baseball season has just begun
I got tickets for the game
He says there's a storm in Africa
Some place I can't name
Rivers choked with bodies and and blood
Now isn't that a shame?

Shame, shame, shame, shame, shame

Boss says I gotta work overtime
Isn't that a shame?
Now all my plans for having fun
Are just going down the drain
While listening to the radio
On my coffee break
I heard them whisper genocide
Isn't that a shame?

Shame, shame, shame, shame, shame

The newspaper's filled with trouble and woe
Isn't that a shame?
How do you expect me to put the fires out
When the whole world is in flames?
besides I got problems here at home
enough to drive me insane
I wish you well but you're on your own
Isn't that a shame?

Shame, shame, shame, shame, shame

Contributed by CCG/AWS Staff - 2007/9/17 - 21:31

Language: Italian

Versione italiana di Kiocciolina

Il meteorologo dice che ci sarà pioggia stasera
Non è una vergogna?
La stagione di baseball è appena cominciata
Ho i biglietti per la partita
Dice che c'è una tempesta in Africa
In alcuni posti che non posso nominare
I fiumi sono intasati dai corpi e dal sangue
Ora, non è una vergogna?

Vergogna, vergogna, vergogna, vergogna, vergogna

Il capo dice che dovrò fare gli straordinari
Non è una vergogna?
Adesso tutti i miei progetti per divertirmi
Stanno andando in rovina
Mentre ascoltavo la radio
Durante la pausa caffè
Ho sentito bisbigliare di un genocidio
Non è una vergogna?

Vergogna, vergogna, vergogna, vergogna, vergogna

I giornali sono riempiti da problemi e disgrazie
Non è una vergogna?
Come vi aspettate che io spenga il fuoco
Quando l'intero mondo è in fiamme?
Oltretutto ho problemi quì a casa
abbastanza per farmi impazzire
Vorrei che steste bene, ma state per conto vostro
Non è una vergogna?

Vergogna, vergogna, vergogna, vergogna, vergogna

Contributed by Kiocciolina - 2007/10/31 - 14:31

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