Tracy Chapman﹕談革命只能低聲如耳語

這個月常常聽美國黑人民歌手Tracy Chapman1988年發表的首張個人唱片,有時候一天聽好幾次,連我太太也覺得奇怪。

我每次聽的時候總在想,奧巴馬有聽過這唱片嗎?

 

在網上有人說,奧巴馬的祝捷會上,應該由Tracy Chapman上台為他唱勝利之歌。

我心裏有個很大的疑問﹕真的嗎?

奧巴馬的成長環境,是十足的中產階級,像典型的白人中產階級多于貧苦的黑人。他的父親是肯雅人,他很小的時候,父親剛從哈佛法律學院畢業後便趕回肯雅為國效勞,他好像是在唸小學時才在夏威夷見過父親一面。他畢業于哈佛的法律學院,主要由媽媽那邊的白人親屬養大,是典型的社會精英。

Tracy Chapman寫的,是另一個世界。是被人遺忘的世界。最近美國發生金融海嘯,但好像沒有聽到有人為美國最底層的人擔憂。仿佛他們活在另一個世界!

但偶爾會有些新聞。像幾年前,美國新奧爾良被颶風橫掃,很多災民無家可歸,我們從電視報道看到,有很多黑人彷如過著人間地獄的生活。

還有,今年三月看到法新社一篇報道,說美國每一百成年人中有一人坐牢,而黑人的比率是15個之中有一個!

到美國出差,也曾經過黑人聚居的貧民區,看上去很可怕,但在一般的媒體,我們看不到。

所以我要聽Tracy Chapman,聽她道出她兄弟姐妹的心聲。

 

Tracy Chapman的唱片,每次令我聽得毛骨聳然的是這首Behind the wall,是唯一一首清唱的歌。鄰居的男人天天在毒打女人?

Behind the wall

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPvFNboEEdo

Last night I heard the screaming
Loud voices behind the wall
Another sleepless night for me
It wont do no good to call
The police
Always come late
If they come at all

And when they arrive
They say they cant interfere
With domestic affairs
Between a man and his wife
And as they walk out the door
The tears well up in her eyes

Last night I heard the screaming
Then a silence that chilled my soul
I prayed that I was dreaming
When I saw the ambulance in the road

And the policeman said
Im here to keep the peace
Will the crowd disperse
I think we all could use some sleep

 

唱片的第一首是Talkin' bout a revolution談革命只能低聲如耳語。

Talkin' bout a revolution 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTyAZTvLfAM

Dont you know
Theyre talkin bout a revolution
It sounds like a whisper
Dont you know
Theyre talkin about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper

While theyre standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation
Wasting time in the unemployment lines
Sitting around waiting for a promotion

Poor people gonna rise up
And get their share
Poor people gonna rise up
And take whats theirs

Dont you know
You better run, run, run…
Oh I said you better
Run, run, run…

Finally the tables are starting to turn
Talkin bout a revolution

 

然後我聽Mountains o' things。世間的榮華富貴只待做夢時得以享用。

Mountains o' things

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1d8-4cwZgM

The life Ive always wanted
I guess Ill never have
Ill be working for somebody else
Until Im in my grave
Ill be dreaming of a live of ease
And mountains
Oh mountains o things

To have a big expensive car
Drag my furs on the ground
And have a maid that I can tell
To bring me anything
Everyone will look at me with envy and with greed
Ill revel in their attention
And mountains
Oh mountains o things

Sweet lazy life
Champagne and caviar
I hope youll come and find me
Cause you know who we are
Those who deserve the best in life
And know what moneys worth
And those whose sole misfortune
Was having mountains o nothing at birth

Oh they tell me
Theres still time to save my soul
They tell me
Renounce all
Renounce all those material things you gained by
Exploiting other human beings

Consume more than you need
This is the dream
Make you pauper
Or make you queen
I wont die lonely
Ill have it all prearranged
A grave thats deep and wide enough
For me and all my mountains o things

Mostly I feel lonely
Good good people are
Good people are only
My stepping stones
Its gonna take all my mountains o things
To surround me
Keep all my enemies away
Keep my sadness and loneliness at bay

Ill be dreaming, dreaming…
Dreaming…

 

這個網誌快要寫好時,看到吾友阿棠寫道﹕

幾年前的中年失業反讓我深深的體會到,原來生活是可以這樣簡樸:每天的運動、看書、聽音樂、接近大自然、把心靠近主耶穌。。。完全沒有擔憂、真正享受生命的樂趣,一花一草、清風明月、多美麗的生命!

我頓時有所失,我問自己,這美國選舉,這Tracy Chapman,究竟干卿底事?我又不是奧巴馬!

阿棠又說﹕

那些受(金融風暴)牽連的貧窮國家,連進口糧食的錢也成問題,這是生死的大問題!

這又是干卿底事?

我帶著這些疑問上飛機,趁這個星期出差的無聊時間,好好去想。Tracy Chapman不再聽了!

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