70. The Promised Land
Written & performed by Lili Haydn, featuring George Clinton and Pharaoh Sanders
From the CD Light Blue Sun (Private Music, USA 2003)



‘[…] As I sat there, I kept thinking of the line that starts ‘The Promised Land,’ a song on Lili Haydn’s new album Light Blue Sun (Private Music): ‘The promised land should be declared a state of mind. That way everyone can live there, free of the need to be free.’

The line, which was written by Haydn’s mother (and Lenny Bruce’s last girlfriend), the comedian Lotus Weinstock, is spoken solemnly by George Clinton. It’s followed by 12 minutes of ebbing tides, seagull cries, and Haydn’s moaning violin trading notes with the bubbling twists of Pharaoh Sanders’ saxophone.

The music itself is an ambient Semitic drone haunted by Jewish and Arab cadences, cadences that are, like the land that Israelis and Palestinians both claim, difficult to separate from each other.’

- ‘Promised lands – Blurring the musical borders of the Middle East’, by Josh Kun, Boston Phoenix, November 21-27, 2003

The World Book Encyclopaedia describes a Semite as, ‘A member of a group that speaks one of the Semitic languages.’ It further states, ‘The Semitic languages are very old. They are now spoken mainly in Arabia, Palestine, Syria, and Iraq, and in Egypt and other North African countries. The Semitic languages include Assyrian, Aramaic, Syrian, Canaanitic, Phoenician, Hebrew, Arabic, and Ethiopic.’

‘The number one myth that Westerners have about this conflict, is that Arabs and Jews have been fighting for thousands of years, and they are going to continue to fight,’ said Douglas Dicks of Catholic Relief Services. He is one of the many professionals interviewed in the highly acclaimed, award-winning documentary, Occupation 101, directed by Sufyan Omeish and Abdallah Omeish. ‘This is really quite bizarre,’ James Akins, U. S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (1973-75), continues in Occupation 101, ‘because all it takes is a little bit of reading to find out that this just isn’t true. There is no congenital, historical enmity between the Arabs and the Jews. The Jews flourished in the Arab world at a time when they were being persecuted throughout all of Europe.’ The fighting in Palestine did not begin until the European Zionists (European Ashkenazi Jews) declared that they wanted a land for Jews only, and specifically, they wanted Palestine. This created two immediate problems. The first problem was that Palestine was already inhabited by almost one million Christian, Muslim, and Jewish Palestinians. As stated, they had been living in peace on this land for many generations. This was, after all, land considered Holy to all three religions.

- ‘Anti-Semitism in Action’, by Mary Sparrowdancer



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