Friday, July 23, 2010

Boney M Asked To Not Sing Their 1978 Hit "By The Rivers Of Babylon" At Palestinian Music Fest

Just back from working out of town for six weeks. Because of my line load, I was too busy to blog; in fact too busy to read or watch the news, and frankly it was quite wonderful to be in blissful ignorance for a while. But I'm back, and though I'm sure I've missed some doozies, nothing much has changed, since there's still a ton to write about. Would it were not so, but the following caught my eye.

I'm dating myself, but anyone remember that disco-cum-reggae band out of Europe called Boney M? I loved them, and one of my favorite songs (and one of their major hits) was "By The Rivers Of Babylon". Based on Psalm 137 (and some words from Psalm 19) about the desire of the Jewish people to return to Zion after their conquest and exile by the Babylonians, it was initially written and recorded in 1970 by Jamaican reggae band The Melodians. It was, however, made popular by Boney M in the late 1970s. Fast forward to July 2010 and Boney M, obviously still around, is performing in Ramallah, Palestine at an international music festival and the group is asked to NOT sing the hit song. That's right, since the lyrics are all about Zion, and the Jewish people's obvious historical ties to the land of Israel, "By The Rivers of Babylon" is forbidden. That's because the Palestinians don't want any reminders that the Jews have just as much right to live on that land as they do. Maizie Williams, the lead singer said she wasn't sure if it was

"a political thing or what, but they asked us not to do it and we were a bit disappointed."
Well, Maizie, let me enlighten you: it IS a political thing.

I still love the song.


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WomanHonorThyself said...

hey girl hope youre feelin better!..I love this tune and yes how predictable for the twisted Arabs to deny them the song!!

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