Saturday, June 30, 2007

Anti-Iraq War/Occupation Songs: Kristofferson

Many major artists have put out of great songs in opposition to the Iraq war/occupation--in contrast to the situation with Palestine (see two previous posts). I've decided (3578 US casualties later) to try to keep a running log. The log is not meant to be exhaustive, but instead focuses on some of (what I imagine are) less well-known examples. First entry: Kris Kristofferson.

Kris Kristofferson, "The Circle (Song for Layla Al-Attar and los Olividados)," Broken Freedom Song: Live from San Francisco (2003).

Layla al-Attar a well-known Iraqi artist was killed in Bagthdad on June 27, 1993, when President Clinton ordered a bombing of Iraq in retaliation for an alleged assassination plot against President George H.W. Bush. Kristofferson's links the fact that Layla al-Attar's name was almost totally absent from US media reports on the incident to los Olvidados, the disappeared of Argentina.

Kristofferson's album, Freedom Song: Live from San Francisco, recorded on on July 19, 2002, also includes a version of the song, "Don't Let the Bastards Get You Down," which criticizes US actions in the run-up to the invasion ("Bombing Baghdad back into a stone age round the clock, non-stop, 40 days, killin' them in their homes and on the highways, and now after a decade of crippling sanctions we're talking about going in there and do it all over again..."). Kris invokes his father, Henry Kristofferson, an Air Force general who went to work for ARAMCO after he retired. I believe (at least I've been told by Aramcons) that Kristofferson grew up in Saudia Arabia.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are right with the songs, but I've never heard that he grew up anywhere outside the US, except for some years in Germany when he served in the army.
He is just a man who takes care of some evil things that happen and uses his brain to tell the truth.
Watch his concert-documentary "Breakthrough" or listen to his albums "Repossessed" (1986) and "Third World Warrior" (1988)or his latest album "This old road" and you 'll find a lot more songs like these.