Semitten's Blog

Om semitiske forhold i og udenfor Israel

Lou Reed og det jødiske folk

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Legendary musician and all round true mensch Lou Reed passed away today. Cause of death is still not reported, but he has been sick for a while, undergoing a liver transplant in May of this year. He was only 71.

I saw Lou Reed live in Park Hayarkon (Tel Aviv) over a decade ago opening for Peter Gabriel. Actually, as much as I like Peter Gabriel, I was equally as excited to see Lou Reed at the time.  I remember the press conference when he arrived in Israel, they asked him what he was going to do while he was here. He said he was going to Haifa to visit his aunt. He had a strong connection to Israel, visiting frequently and (as you can tell from the aunt comment) he had relatives here.

Lou’s strong connection to the Jewish people and to Israel can be heard in his lyrics from the song “Good Evening Mr. Waldheim” on his 1989 solo album “New York”, I highlighted the part I always thought was cool:

Good evening Mr. Waldheim
and Pontiff how are you?
You have so much in common
in the things you do
And here comes Jesse Jackson
He talks of Common Ground
Does that Common Ground include me
or is it just a sound
A sound that shakes
Oh Jesse, you must watch the sounds you make
A sound that quakes
There are fears that still reverberate
Jesse you say Common Ground
Does that include the PLO?
What about people right here right now
who fought for you not so long ago?
The words that flow so freely
falling dancing from your lips
I hope that you don’t cheapen them
with a racist slip
Oh Common Ground
Is Common Ground a word or just a sound
Common Ground—remember those civil rights workers buried in the ground
If I ran for President and once was a member of the Klan
Wouldn’t you call me on it
The way I call you on Farrakhan
And Pontiff, pretty Pontiff
Can anyone shake your hand?
Or is it just that you like uniforms
and someone kissing your hand
Or is it true
The Common Ground for me includes you too
Oh is it true the Common Ground for me includes you too
Good evening Mr. Waldheim
Pontiff how are you
As you both stroll through the woods at night
I’m thinking thoughts of you
And Jesse you’re inside my thoughts
As the rhythmic words subside
My Common Ground invites you in
or do you prefer to wait outside
Or is it true
The Common Ground for me is without you
Or is it true
The Common Ground for me is without you
Oh is it true
There’s no Ground Common enough for me and you

Just a little background: Kurt Waldheim was the Secretary General of the United Nations from 1977 to 1981, and was elected president of Austria in 1986, despite the evidence that he had lied about the extent of his military career in the Wehrmacht in WW2. This was also around the time that Jesse Jackson was trying to clean up his image after having made numerous anti-semitic remarks including refering to New York as “Hymietown”. Louis Farrakhan is of course the notoriously anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam

 

Written by semit

27. oktober 2013 hos 23:14

Lagt i Israel

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