Video Exclusive “Civilise You” recorded wearing Shetland Wool.

Civilize You was written for Denys  Baptiste for a celebration of Martin Luther King’s speech in Jazz.  The show is called Now Is The Time and will be in Edinburgh tonight.
Details of the full tour are in the 2nd video below.


2 thoughts on “Video Exclusive “Civilise You” recorded wearing Shetland Wool.

  1. Terrific Lemn, stirring and powerful. Let freedom ring indeed!

    Please let me draw your attention (and to others who may read this) to a great play/one-man show, CALL MR ROBESON !
    The story of Robeson’s life, told in the first person, ( & most powerfully sung) by Tayo Aluko at the Tristan Bates Theatre/Actors Centre, Covent Garden, (until 26th Oct).

    It is incredibly moving, uplifiting and galvanising. Robheson was a giant of a man, born the son of a slave, he went on to become a lawyer, a top athlete, a great singer and actor and a campaigner. The U.S government wanted him silenced. He was unyeilding, defiant and brave.

    His voice was mountianous, tender, bold, and beacme the most loved of all popular singers. In the 1940s he was earning a phenomonal £100,000 a year, by the 50’s and the time McArthy’s house of “Un Amercian activites” had banished him from perfroming (nine years house arrest and no passport for even longer) he was reduced to £6,000 a year and ill health.

    His moral stance is more relevant today than ever in these times of death to society by a thosand cuts, where poverty is deemed the fault of the individual, and profit is good no matter how it’s made, and anyone who dissents, dares critizie and expose the transgressions and barbaric crimes of governemnt and corporations is ruthlessly rounded upon.

    Mr Robeson’s response?

    “They say I’m meddling in the foreign affarits of the United States Government. Now that’s too bad, ‘casue I’m going to have to continue to meddle!”

    And he knew that barbarism begins at home, he fought against it there and abroad. Friday’s programme notes for CALL MR ROBESON ponited out that:

    “A 71 year old man who spent more than four decades in solitary confienment has died” Herman Wallace, one of the Angola Three released last week, terminally ill with Liver cancer.

    Incarcerated in Angola jail (once the site of a slave plantation) he and two other inmates Robert King (released after 29 years solitary) and Albert Woodfox still held, had set up a Prison chapter of the Black Panther movement (1971) to create solidarity amongst black prisoners and to campaign for better prsion conditions for all. As such they were a real thorn in the side of the prision authorities, violence was rife within Angola jail and when a young guard was stabbed the three were accused of the crime, actual evidence was weak to say the least, and even the guard’s wife did not believe they were the assailants, nonetheless the authoirites took the opportunity to banish the men from all social contact.

    The slave trade may be gone but it’s consequences are not, nor are the dehumanising attitudes that gave rise to it. Equality is still an unrealised dream. As Martin Luther King pointed out racism, poverty, militarism and materialism are all sucking the life-blood out of humanity. He highligted the hypocrisy of a media & government which applauds non-violence at home but deplores it when applied to “little brown Vietnamese children”. He was a true internationalist and “they” hated him for it. As they did Paul Robeson. Why? Because he chose to live as a free man “My art is a weapon in the struggle for my peoples freedom and for the freedom of all people”. Go see the play and be reminded just what it means to stand tall.

  2. Thanks for the recommendation, Rhiannon! Send me an email so I can put you on my mailing list. I’m also a fan of Lemn’s and have seen him two or three times. Best to you both.

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