arts / folk / music / my songs / songwriting

A new song: The Burka Ballad


The Burka Ballad was based on this report in The Guardian, Nocvember 14, 2013

The Burka Ballad was based on this report in The Guardian, November 14, 2013

Tune: The Flying Cloud (Scottish traditional ballad)
My name it is Mohammed
Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed in full
I was born in the Horn of Africa
And it’s there I went to school.
I am a British citizen
With British human rights:
I’m now in terror for my life
And must hide by day and night.

It was in the month of January
In the year of Twenty-Eleven,
I was resting by my domestic hearth
As the shadows grew at even.
I heard the helicopter
Hover like angry crow
The soldiers came, broke down my door
But why, I still don’t know.

They seized me and they hooded me
And took me prisoner then.
Though this was in Arabia
They spoke like Englishmen.
I was locked up in a stinking jail
And tortured day and night.
Each time they came to take me out
My body shook with fright.

When I was brought to England
They called me terrorist.
An electric shackle on my leg,
My truth they sought to twist.
But as I knelt in worship
One day at Friday prayers
I vowed that I would outwit them
And catch them unawares.

I cut the tag from round my leg
Though that was tough to do.
I dressed in a sister’s garment
That covered me from top to toe.
Their cameras could not see me
Though their eyes were everywhere.
How can a land like this be free
Where justice is so rare?

Now they’ve put a price upon my head
Though no one takes the bribe.
They seek to capture me again
And bang me up inside.
But God’s love breaks through bolts and bars
And triumphs over all.
He opens up the prison cell
And lifts us when we fall.

Though I be free as the ocean sea
And the birds up in the sky
Still will I strive to clear my name
And that I’ll not deny.
Until that time still I must hide
Like a fox gone to its earth
Though this be the land of every land
Where freedom came to birth.

O you who worship Jesus
And you Bishops of high degree
What will you say on Judgement Day
When you face eternity?
Was not your Saviour judged, condemned,
And hung on a gallows tree?
So free your lands of electronic bands
And set all the prisoners free.

Words © Copyright Karl Dallas/EMI Music November 20, 2013, 12.26pm

NOTE: For the tune of the traditional ballad, as sung by Louisa Jo Killen, click HERE. The Guardian report on which the song is based can be read HERE.

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