Sunday, July 25, 2021
Editorial

We’re the world but Imagine no Borderline

On the World Music Day (June 21), Nagaland did our bit to celebrate the day, despite the pandemic. Anyway, nobody could have stopped us ~ because music is in our DNA hence it is such an intrinsic part of our culture. Well, there is music and music to cater to all tastes however there are some songs that are eternal. For today let us focus on three songs that the younger generations will identify with ~ (1) John Lennon’s Imagine, the concept of which is positive prayer and reportedly Lennon described is as “an ad campaign for peace”, hence his moving anthem is such a beacon for those who long for global harmony. Imagine, written in March 1971 during the Vietnam War, has become a permanent protest song and a lasting emblem of hope. (2) We are the world, was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie to raise money for the victims of the famine in Africa. Therefore, the theme of the song is caring about and helping people in need. (3) Chris De Burgh’s Borderline, the lyrics of which are below because this song may not be very well-known to most of the younger generations here. The lyrics of all the three songs are very simple but their messages are aimed at the complexities of human hearts and minds. Now, there are songs galore that also talk about love, peace, hope, brotherhood, sharing, giving, etc, that we feel strongly about. These songs are just a few examples of what the human heart yearns. But it’s so difficult for us to reach out our hands to take what is already in us and share it with each others. Lennon says: It’s easy if you try ~ but we don’t try, we don’t want to try, we don’t even think about trying. Why? Lennon wrote: Imagine there’s no countries/
It isn’t hard to do/Nothing to kill or die for/And no religion, too/Imagine all the people/Livin’ life in peace sin.
Lennon further wrote: Imagine no possessions/I wonder if you can/No need for greed or hunger/A brotherhood of man/Imagine all the people/Sharing all the world. The question is: can we think of living without countries, without possessions ~ without ‘yours’ and ‘mine’? If we cannot, it’s pointless to talk about love, peace, etc. The lyrics of We are the world starts with: There comes a time/When we heed a certain call/When the world must come together as one/There are people dying, then it also says: We’re all a part of God’s great big family
And the truth, you know, love is all we need.
So do we have that love to heed a certain call? Chris de Burgh’s Borderline asks equally probing questions. It questions the existence of borderlines. But these borderlines, political and others, exist because we created them and want them to exist ~ they are our comfort zones ~ to acquire things that are needless and dangerous for us ~ such as power, wealth, etc., which harm and hurt another human being. Now, can we make music transcend from the aspirational to the existential ~ and not just in terms of donations? So think, besides music in our DNA, what else are there and why? Now, here’s Borderline:

I’m standing in the station/I am waiting for a train/To take me to the border/And my loved one far away/I watched a bunch of soldiers heading for the war/I could hardly even bear to see them go/Rolling through the countryside/Tears are in my eyes/We’re coming to the borderline/I’m ready with my lies/And in the early morning rain, I see her there/And I know I’ll have to say goodbye again/And it’s breaking my heart, I know what I must do/I hear my country call me but I want to be with you/I’m taking my side, one of us will lose/Don’t let go, I want to know/That you will wait for me until the day/There’s no borderline, no borderline/Walking past the border guards/Reaching for her hand/Showing no emotion/I want to break into a run/But these are only boys, and I will never know/How men can see the wisdom in a war…/And it’s breaking my heart, I know what I must do/I hear my country call me, but I want to be with you/I’m taking my side, one of us will lose/Don’t let go, I want to know/That you will wait for me until the day/There’s no borderline, no borderline/No borderline …

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