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2004: A Terrible Beauty


2004: A Terrible Beauty

Song By Daniel Patrick Welch

We hailed the New Millennium The dawn of change had come Our future lay before us bright and clear But somehow now we’ve lost our way The future’s on the run As we try to shed our past for one more year

A Terrible Beauty The Irish poet said The future and the past become the same We cannot reach our future So we live the past instead Over and over again

The grim machine of empire Churned out a year of war A hundred thousand perished at its hands The rules remain unchanging: Send the poor to kill the poor All to grab the oil beneath their sands

A Terrible Beauty The Irish poet said The future and the past become the same We cannot reach our future So we live the past instead Over and over again

The cold winds of November Couldn’t nudge the past aside As people drowned in fear, and cash and fraud The votes seem to be counted To favor those who lied A President who thinks he talks with God

A Terrible Beauty The Irish poet said The future and the past become the same We cannot reach our future So we live the past instead Over and over again

And as the new year beckons Come the tales of untold grief As tidal waves deliver fear and dread It happened without warning Gave survivors no relief with waters still receding, there are half a million dead

A Terrible Beauty The Irish poet said The future and the past become the same We cannot reach our future So we live the past instead Over and over again

So change we must or perish At the turning of the year We can stop the cycle if we try Spend less on war than people we can break the chains of fear If we kiss the year—and kiss the past—goodbye

A terrible Beauty The Irish poet said Though when hope lives the past can surely end Fight for the living While mourning the dead Our vow must be: Never Again

© 2005 Daniel Patrick Welch. Reprint permission granted with credit and link to danielpwelch.com. Writer, singer, linguist and activist Daniel Patrick Welch lives and writes in Salem, Massachusetts, with his wife, Julia Nambalirwa-Lugudde. Together they run The Greenhouse School, http://www.greenhouseschool.org. Some of his articles have been broadcast on radio, and translations are available in up to 20 languages. Links to the website are appreciated at http://danielpwelch.com.

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