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  1. 11 Standby

From the recording LIONS AND BUTTERFLIES

Jeremy: “The original idea for Standby grew out of the terrible scenes in Syria in 2012 when a leader appeared immune to the pictures of the torture and murder of his own people whilst he
stubbornly clung onto power. We see such things so often, and equally often, the
international community umms and ahhs and after days of deliberations decides to send a wishy-washy message ‘strongly criticising’ the actions of President X or Y. You can almost feel the despot’s chuckles rippling around the world. The truth is, the past actions of nations like
Britain, America and Russia led to the existence of many of these rogue states and their crackpot leaders. And even now, we find ourselves
considering military action against one leader only to find that his enemy is a worse threat to us and so we switch allegiances and look even more foolish. What a mess we’ve made of the world. One day we might finally reach the point when we realise that dropping bombs in a random, disjointed un-thought-out manner when another state upsets us has never ever led to a happy conclusion. What the world is crying out for is a quiet, united, powerful, peaceful
movement where we reflect on what is wrong with the world as a whole, and then choose to live our lives in such a way that none of our day to day actions supports states with terrible human rights records or those that prop them up. We could really make a difference. But we need to care enough. The movement would need to be whole-hearted and that would involve each of us making compromises to the lives to which we’ve become accustomed, in which our eating, shopping, travel and general comforts of life ultimately depend on the suffering of others. We’d need to live in a truly ethical way, and for many of us that is very sadly a step too far.”

Lyrics

STAND BY

The right to choose a people seek
A brutal army destroys the weak
The frozen dread of every child
The target said the soldier smiled
And then took aim and smiling still
Murdered childhood and stole free will
That fear would reign, we’d fall away
Our questions silenced, in disarray

We cannot stand by
While the suits all take sides
Debating how strongly to criticise
The powers look on
Denounce and meanwhile
Leave a dictator to murder in style

I won’t stand by, I won’t stand by

We chose our foe, he chose his first
The scene keeps changing, now who is worse?
So we switch sides when they return
To steal our humour and watch it burn

We cannot stand by
While the suits all take sides
Debating how strongly to criticise
The powers look on
Denounce and meanwhile
Leave a dictator to murder in style
I won’t stand by, I won’t stand by

(Arms must never change our minds)
Forget the strong, the powerless powers
You keep your glory, their hurt is ours
And now the eyes of those you wronged
Stay fixed upon you, a billion strong

We cannot stand by
While the suits all take sides
Debating how strongly to criticise
The powers look on
Denounce and meanwhile
Leave a dictator to murder in style
I won’t stand by, I won’t stand by