TIANANMEN, by Rod Tweedy

Commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre

My song to mark the massacre that happened in Tiananmen Square on 4th June 1989.

On June 4 1989 the Chinese government sent tanks and troops to open fire on thousands of students who were occupying Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Hundreds, maybe thousands were killed or injured. We do not know, because the government has never released the figures. We do know it responded to the student demand for greater democracy with tanks and live bullets.

The occupation of Tiananmen Square was the culmination of a democracy movement which had been gathering pace in China throughout the 1980s and which came to ahead in the spring of 1989.

In the 30 years since, the government of the People’s Republic of China has sought to erase this event from their history. Across the world efforts are made to ensure it does not succeed.

 

TIAN-AN-MEN  (‘Ruler Silence Gate’) 

verse 1

BEIJING – June the fourth eighty nine, summer almost set on fire

PEOPLE – in the square we came to be, wanting freedoms on tv

RISING LIKE A LION – please, tell the world

A FLOWER – that we were here

LIKE YOU, once

 

verse 2

PAPER – watch the tv, news at ten:  it’s a movie: See En En

FREEDOM – moving shadows on the wall, the ratings war will kill ’em all,

FALLING LIKE A STATUE – who’s making the news?

A SHADOW – who’s behind the tv?

NOT YOU

 

Chorus

GO TO SLEEP

(shhh, go to sleep),

CLOSE YOUR EYES,

TRUST IN US,

REST IN PEACE

 

 

verse 3

MOVING – the bodies brought prosperity, a shiny lying new elite

VIOLENCE – like a brothel built on graves, foreign hands will strip them

FASTER THAN MERCEDES – ordinary life

THAN NIKE – run down 2nite

SWOOSH

 

Chorus

GO TO SLEEP,

TRUST IN U.S.,

CLOSE YOUR EYES

HISTORY

“we were just stones

just stones (enchanted stones),

stones under water. we were like

one hundred flowers,

Burst into fire!

The time will come, it’s Now

 

verse 4

SPEECHLESS – we wanted to make history, but we only made tv

EVIL – now there’s nothing left to say, every life has been erased

ON GOOGLE – our mouths are graves

DOT CN – searching in vain

FOR YOU

 

Chorus

GO TO SLEEP,

CLOSE YOUR EYES,

OUR TIME WILL COME,

WE WILL RISE,

AGAIN

 

 

My photos of the commemoration of the Tiananmen Square Massacre at the Chinese Embassy in London

 

Kate Adie’s original report BBC of the massacre:

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