Day 29 — Share Your Music: 30 Days, 30 Songs
Music — it represents the sum of our lives. Think of any aspect of human emotion or endeavour and there has probably been a song written about it. Songs can unite or divide. Just as there are war songs, there are also songs of protest and peace. I prefer to call the latter, songs of kindness. Every year I feel the love at Canberra’s National Folk Festival. It is there that I first heard many of the songs that I have shared over the 30 days of this music challenge. This year I had the very great privilege to attend the Festival’s Concert for Peace. The concert was a call to action and an opportunity to honour the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (otherwise known as ICAN).
ICAN is a coalition of non-governmental organisations in one hundred countries promoting adherence to and implementation of the United Nations nuclear weapon ban treaty. ICAN was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. Due largely to ICAN’s advocacy, a majority of the world’s nations adopted the landmark global agreement to ban nuclear weapons (known officially as the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons) in 2017. The Treaty will enter into legal force once 50 nations have signed and ratified it. To date, 70 countries have signed the agreement but only 23 countries have ratified it. While many may be sceptical that nuclear weapons will ever be outlawed in our lifetime, there would be few ordinary citizens who would disagree that our safety and global security depends on disarmament. The continued existence of the global nuclear arsenal enables the world and the fate of millions, perhaps billions of people, to be held hostage to bullies and/or madmen.
My Australian readers may not realise that ICAN was started in Melbourne, Australia, by a group of doctors. It has now grown to a global movement. The photo above is of one of the original founders, Dr Sue Wareham, holding the Nobel Peace Prize medal.
I hold ICAN in high esteem for speaking out about the need for a ban and its advocacy efforts. It deserves its award. Click on the link above to find out more about the work of ICAN and how you can support it.
Anyway, back to the music. One of the performers at the Concert for Peace was the world’s very own singer/songwriter/peace activist, Eric Bogle. Eric sang the song, Freedom Lost. Eric based the song lyrics on a poem, First They Came, by Martin Niemöller. The poem tells of how those that could, Niemöller included, failed to speak out at first in opposition to Hitler and his program of incremental purges and killings of targeted groups. Speaking up is just as important now as it ever was. Sometimes your hero may turn out to be a person with little humanity or integrity; that is, just a bully or a madman. Loyalty is not owed in such situations. It is never too early or too late to speak out against persecution and human rights abuses, and/or against those that carry out these abuses in our so-called interests.
Here’s Eric Bogle.
The incredibly talented Sarah of Art Expedition is hosting 30 Days, 30 Songs for the month of June. You can see her latest post here. Only two more opportunities to participate in the challenge. Please join us for the big finish.