Language: English

Lyrics & Music by Keir Neuringer
Album: Conquistadors EP [2012]



First they came for the forests & I did not speak out
because I did not live in the forests..

Then they came for the rivers & I did not speak out
because I did not live by the rivers..

Then they came for the mountaintops & I did not speak out
because I did not live on the mountaintops.

Then they came for the oceans & I did not speak out
because I did not live on the coast..

Then they came for Africa & I did not speak out
because I did not live in Africa.

Then they came for the Arctic Circle & I did not speak out
because I did not live in the Arctic Circle..

Then they came for Australia & California, Tuvalu, Bangladesh & the Maldives
& I did not speak out..

Then they came for the Caribbean & I did not speak out
because it became fashionable to vacation elsewhere.

Then they came for the gas in the Niger Delta & I did not speak out
because I did not live in the Niger Delta..

Then they came for the shale in North America & I did not speak out
because I did not understand what that means..

They came for the young men & women & I did not speak out
because I did not have to enlist to get a living.

They came for human breastmilk & I did not speak out
because I did not know they were making it toxic.

They came for the arts & I did not speak out
(I was busy watching television).

They came for biodiversity & I did not speak out.
They came for the integrity of DNA & I did not speak out.
They came for farms & seeds & I did not speak out.
They came with their trawlers to vacuum the seabed & I did not speak out.
They came with their cages to build zoos, their feedlots & their slaughterhouses..

They came for the olive groves & I did not speak out
because they were not my grandfather's olive groves..

They came with their laws to frame civil rights politically.
They came with their satellites & wiretaps, their police & their guns.
They came with their cellphone towers.
They came with their GPS..

They came with their flags, their hope, their change, their mission accomplished, their development, their sustainability, their security, their liberation, their 10% ethanol, their investments..

They came with their websites, their news stories, their special reports, their travel warnings, their secret documents..

They came with their shit-eating grins.

They came with their Saturday afternoon peaceful protests (by permission of the municipality)..

They came with their courts, their lawyers, their judges, their pantsuits, their candidates, their managers, their CEOS..

They came with their strategists.
They came with their facts & figures.
They came with their charts & diagrams.
They came with their free markets, their money markets, their marketplace of ideas.
They came with their talks, their summits, their conferences, their treaties, their non-binding agreements..

They came with their goodwill but their hands tied.
They came with one hand open & the other hidden.
They came with their fingers crossed.
They came with confusing ideologies.
They came in peace to make war.
They came in ships to carry you away.
They came in uniforms to take orders..

They came in Hollywood & Moscow & Jerusalem.
They came in Beijing & Washington D.C.
They came in Mumbai & Sydney & Vancouver, Seattle & Cancún.

They came in the birth canals of their victims & amidst the folds of their religious garments.

They came with their toxic sludge & their billowing plumes of oil.
They came with their fossil fuels & their green energy.
They came with their nuclear tests!

They came with their white phosphorus, with their depleted uranium, with their Coca-Cola, with their sugar substitutes..

They came with their cancer treatments..

They came with their wars on diseases & drugs & poverty & terror & New Orleans.
They came with their slogans.

They came in their limousines & in their tuxedos & on their red carpets & with their champagne & their gala benefits & their aid concerts & their peace prizes & their religion & their holidays & their monuments & their business parks & their shopping malls & their space exploration programs..

They came with their black skin & their white men's hearts.
They came as women with the hearts of men..

They came with their walls & fences & their segregated roads.

They came with their checkpoints & passports & identification papers.

They came into the cities.

They came in to the towns & villages.

They came into the countryside.
They came into homes.

They came to Kyoto.
They came to Copenhagen.
They came to The Hague.
They came to Oslo & Dayton & Yalta & Vienna & Versailles.
They came to Baghdad & Basra & Bagram.
They came to Guantánamo Bay.
They came to poison the food.

They came to sort us, to divide us, to make a taxonomy out of us, to sell us to each other, to buy us from ourselves..

They came for the communists & trade unionists & Jews.
They came as communists & trade unionists & Jews..
They came with their culture to destroy culture.
They came with their civilization to destroy civilizations.
They came with their peace to destroy peace.
They came with their histories to destroy memory.
They came with their language to destroy language.
They came with their songs to destroy music.
They came with their words to destroy actions, their actions to destroy words.

..But they never came for me.

Contributed by giorgio - 2013/2/15 - 08:48

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