A Musical CD, "The Way to Peace"
reviewed by John Spritzler
The Way to Peace is a CD of twelve songs sung by Rich Siegel accompanying himself on the piano, and with, in some songs, Gilad Atzmon (woodwinds), Gary Ciuci (guitar), Cameron Brown (bass) and Anthony Pinciotti (drums). The lyrics are clearly intended to be taken very seriously, and they range from reflections on universal themes of the human condition in some songs, to very topical and political message-lyrics in other songs. The song, "In Palestine," for example, contains these lyrics: "You tell me all peoples need land of their own. All the others have theirs, why not leave us alone?"
Rich Siegel sings with passion and a very good voice. The musical accompaniment is excellent. At least this is the opinion of this reviewer, who is admittedly not musically talented or particularly knowledgable about music.
To the extent that the political content is explicit, it is commendably anti-Zionist. And the songs about the universal human condition commendably celebrate the positive aspects of people.
I do have trouble with the lyrics. They tackle issues that cannnot be truly understood except in a framework that identifies the chief conflict in the world--the conflict between the great majority of people who value equality and mutual aid and democracy versus the privileged, wealthy and powerful ruling elites (including Zionist leaders) who have the opposite values. But the framework used by the lyrics ignores this conflict.
Thus, the third song, "The Way to Peace," has lyrics that say, "The way to peace is peace" and "The way to peace is to live and let live." It has a preachy tone, to my ear; it seems to be blaming the reality of war and violence on ordinary people not understanding that "the way to peace is peace, to live and let live." I disagree with this view.
I think that the violence in the world is the violence of class conflict over what values should shape it, and the blame falls not on ordinary people but on the ruling elites who oppress people. The way to peace is for those who value equality and mutual aid and democracy to defeat--with violence when necessary--those who attack those values. The peace we need is the peace that can only come from a successful revolution against the oppressive rulers of the world. This CD just doesn't seem to grasp this important point.
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