Gas Generator

“I wrote it on my birthday – the day of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Feelings around the tanks, when they’re rolling down your street. Helpless frustration about a monolithic government out of control. My basic philosophy is that, ultimately, we are done evolving physically, and now our task is to embark together on a spiritual, global path.”

-From the interview article “Payola Blues” by Billy Wawsaw in April 1991

There’s a gas generator
With a wheel spinnin’ round.
It’s got a dinosaur hum –
It makes a cemetery sound.
And it’s mean, green iron – every inch and every pound.
It sings, “A-chug-a-lug-gulag, I’m gonna grind you into the ground.”

And it gives itself steam
And a nasty little notion,
‘Bout the tickin’ of the clock and perpetual motion.

Hear the shufflin’ feet
And the flesh pressed tightly.
Skitter scatter in the daylight,
Much angrier nightly.
Hear the tinkle of the Molotov fill the night brightly.
It says, “We might go down, but it won’t be politely.”

“We know who you are
And we know where you been –
We believed in you once, we won’t be fooled again.”

You got a Palestine here, you got a Soweto there.
You got a Budapest, Hungary
Everywhere.
You got a dragon’s lair massacre in Tiananmen Square.
And people dyin’ in the streets just to breathe a little free air.

We can never forgive,
We can never forget.
We can’t lie to ourselves ’cause it ain’t over yet.

Come and sing songs of justice,
You dust-covered Kings.
Go on and harmonize hollow,
Let the emptiness ring.
But witness these welts that your justice does bring
To the backs and the brains of the ones in the wings.

All you hungry and homeless,
Too weak to be wrong,
There’s a kingdom where Kings of this earth sing no song.

There’s a gas generator,
With a wheel spinnin’ round.
It’s got a dinosaur hum –
It makes a cemetery sound.
And it’s mean, green iron – every inch and every pound.
It sings, “A-chug-a-lug-gulag, I’m gonna grind you into the ground.”

And it gives itself steam
And a nasty little notion,
‘Bout the tickin’ of the clock and perpetual motion.

 

“Gas Generator” appears on Medicine.


© & ℗ 1990 by Marques Bovre