Dr. Lindyke - The Square

from by Various Artists

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When I (Dave) first saw the lyrics, I said, "William, Tiananmen Square happened in 1989!" He said, "Yeah, but it's been bugging me." As this song is written in response to the Spintunes 6, Round 3 challenge, it's supposed to be about something you feel strongly about. I'd say 24 years of simmering qualifies.

We're not telling you in this song what you should choose, though I think our own bias is pretty clear. We're sick to death of people telling you what you want. The various people of this world demand societies that are both free and socialist, to various degrees. To us, what's more important than whether you side with the individual or the pack is that YOU make the choice. Don't let someone do it for you. And once you've made your choice, stand up and defend it. Be the Tank Man.

As for the style of the song... in the first place, I'm not Chinese; so no, I wasn't about to try for some Oriental song stylings here. In the second place, the event was one in which the students involved were trying very much to adopt Western-style democracy (up to and including displaying a statue of Liberty). A Western-style song seemed to me to be in order. I started with a 12/8 time signature, reminiscent of the old Perry Mason theme song, which not only reminds me of Justice, but of the L.A. Chinatown near which he practiced. The "nightclub" sound allows for the dynamic range pretty much demanded by the chorus.

lyrics

We are the children
Of Tiananmen square
So little and so much has changed
Since our comrades died down there

We thought we could cure the world
Of a desperate disease
We'd find a way to make it work
Not just for freedom, but for peace

Peace or Freedom
The choice is up to you
Fear itself often frightens me, too
But every battle needs survivors
There are some things you should fight for
And with courage and with will
We can fight for them still!

We marched a million strong
To parade upon the Square
We were sticks and stones against the storm
We had nothing to compare

Our signs and banners
They never stopped a thing
But though the cause seems lost right now
We will return again in the Spring
More than a billion strong!

Peace or Freedom
The choice is up to you
Fear itself often frightens me, too
But every battle needs survivors
There are some you should fight for
And with the courage and with will
We can fight for them still!

credits

from SpinTunes #6: Round 3, released February 26, 2013
Words & Music: William Hoover & Dave Leigh
Piano & Bass: Dave Leigh
Drums: Jim Dooley

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Spintown Middletown, Ohio

I run a songwriting contest called SpinTunes. Most of the material hosted on this account is a result of that contest. You can follow the contest on Twitter (@SpinTunes) or my personal account (@Spintown).

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