Forgiveness & Love

“This is my patriotic song.”—Me’Shell NdegéOcello, 4/2/02

I wrote this song following September 11th, 2001 and thought it might be appropriate to release now given the present worldwide mobilization for peace.

In writing it, I thought a lot about the radical love and forgiveness taught by Jesus and the early Christian tradition as well as the principles of peace and justice that are at the roots of Islam; I thought about the frequent uses and misuses of religion, including the invocations that imply that God would somehow choose sides in a war. As I’m no politician or scholar, I tried to explore my thoughts and feelings about these issues through music.

Among the basic questions that I hope folks will think about, feel about and meditate on is whether the 21st Century is going to be any different than the 20th Century—which was as murderous and oppressive as it was creative and technologically brilliant. Will we use all of our intelligence to eradicate or escalate warfare, hunger, disease and poverty? In what ways will each of us individually reconcile the undeniable fact that our lifestyles depend upon the suffering of others? What would have happened if the U.S. as a nation focused on these questions after 9/11 instead of prioritizing revenge over healing?

I invite folks to enter into dialogues rooted in hope and aimed at understandings that go beyond partisan politics and fearful arrogance. And beyond listening to this tune or talking to friends, family and colleagues, I hope folks will check out some of the links below and take action.

unitedforpeace.orgmoveon.orgwinwithoutwarus.orgnotinourname.nettruemajority.comfuture500.com

Life is a gift.
Meshell

- Message from Me’Shell (February 13, 2003)

Forgiveness and Love
Forgiveness and Love

great white man discoveries (yeah...)
to another man
that mean robbery
mr. politician
how you sleep?
hide behind
all the justice money can buy
all the justice money can buy

God Bless America
who God you talk about?
God, Bless America
who God you talk about?
my God
is Forgiveness and Love, yeah
Forgiveness and Love

Mother, Mother, mother's mother,
government slave
they rape and murder
tell me that i'm set free
now my brother, (government slave)
wear the uniforms of brutality
who God you fight for?
let me tell you who you kill for:
welcome to the rain where the sun like thunder
welcome to the reign where the son
murder like his father

God Bless America
who God you talk about? (hey)
God, Bless America
who God you talk about?
my God
is Forgiveness and Love, yeah
God, Bless America
who God you talk about? (hey)
God, Bless America
who God you talk about? (yeah)
my God
be Forgiveness and Love, yeah
Forgiveness and Love
Forgiveness and Love

Forgiveness and Love
my God
is Forgiveness and Love
Forgiveness and Love
Mother, Mother, mother's mother,
government slave
Forgiveness and Love
tell me
forgiveness and
Love

who God you talk about?
check it.

©2001 Revolutionary Jazz Giant Music, BMI
Written by Me'Shell NdegéOcello
All instruments by Me'Shell NdegéOcello
Recorded completely at her house in Berkeley by Me'Shell NdegéOcello
Produced by Me'Shell Suhaila Bashir for Humility Profits

10.10.03