I'm Coming Home

Lorne Clarke & Tom Flannery
Language: English

Related Songs

It's Called Genocide
(Lorne Clarke & Tom Flannery)
Christmas In Kigali
(Lorne Clarke & Tom Flannery)

© 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.


In early 2003 the Rwandan government released some 16,000 genocide perpetrators who have served up to 9 years in prison for the systematic murder of nearly 1,000,000 of their neighbors in 1994. Since only the "big fish" are being tried by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (the ICTR), many of the actual murderers are being sent home to live in the same villages where they killed.

Most of the released prisoners are self-confessed killers, although not always repentant. When one was asked why he did what he did, he replied, "We just did what we were told". Sound familiar? How about the Nuremberg defense.."We were just following orders."

Imagine convicted Nazi's being sent to live among European Jews to get a feel for what is happening in Rwanda right now.
It's been 9 long years
but now I'm coming home
they told me I could leave
said I was free to die alone
I do what I'm told
I've always been this way
tell me to turn my head
I'll surely look the other way

I could deny the killing
for some that's still the plan
but I again have to live with those
who've seen blood on my hands
they asked me for the names
of those who died at my feet
but I can't recall the faces
so the names I can't repeat

I'm coming home
home to what I left behind
and that should weigh heavy
on an un-repentant mind

They may seek to kill me
but revenge is a subtle whore
I killed some for their light skin
or the glasses that they wore
and now the court has told me
it's over go on home
I've got all I own in my 2 hands
and a wish to be left alone

I'm coming home
home to my own kind
you said never again
do you mean it this time?

you say you're not capable
of the things that I have done
but it's hard to stop a moving train
once it has begun
swept up like the sand that's
carried away by the ocean waves
it's my job to stay alive
and it's the Lord's job to save

I'm coming home
with a bible and a prayer
and the hope that when I close my eyes
I won't see you there

It's been 9 long years
but now I'm coming home
they told me I could leave
said I was free to die alone
I do what I'm told
I've always been this way
tell me to turn my head
I'll surely look the other way

Contributed by CCG/AWS Staff - 2007/9/17 - 21:34

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