Homage to Young Men - with Nizlopi
Homage to Young Men
(Broadcast 1010, 16 February 2006, on the MacAulay & Co show)
(by generous courtesy of Nizlopi)
Words by Alastair McIntosh based on an extemporary performance with Nizlopi at King Tutís Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow, 19 January 2006, following on from performance of their No. 1 hit single, the JCB Song, which is about fathers and sons.
The Homage has now been recorded with Nizlopi for release on 4th September on their new album - ExtraOrdinary - see www.Nizlopi.com . My poetry collection from Luath Press, Love and Revolution, contains the Homage text and is being published on the same day. I will be performing the Homage live with Nizlopi at the Greenbelt Festival in Cheltenham on Sunday 27 August, and at the ABC in Glasgow on Saturday 16 September 2006. Love and Revolution can be advance-ordered from Amazon, and is available at a special price bundled with ExtraOrdinary from Recordstore. ExtraOrdinary can also be bought bundled with my earlier book, Soil and Soul, which has just sold its 10,000th copy.
By the way, the Homage is fake "rap" from somebody's old man who's half deaf, struggles to understand these young folk's music, and wonders why the album can't be made available on vinyl or cassette tape - so don't be fooled ... accept only real fakes - but here's the words to be going on with as printed in Love and Revolution!
to Young Men
chorus by Nizlopiís Luke Concannon
I want to talk to all the young men out there
Itís for the women too, but especially the men,
'cos itís tough to be a young man in this world
You have to face so much heartbreak and loss
In love and career and life
Itís easy to forget the meaning and give up
To burn up or sell out to addictions, despair or greed
Easy to forget that lifeís a journey
with a beginning, a middle and an end
Itís about navigating the future, your future
Itís about learning to become a man whoís real,
and able to love
you waiting for me?
your hands down in the dirt?
been longing since my birth
be arms around you
be true to who we are
let all our pain out
be playing in your heart
So letís talk about the first stage of life
The departure, when your boat is pushed out on the river
Most of who you are is still your small self
The you your family has made you,
your schooling and your friends
Youíve still not found your deep self, your Great Self,
'cos thatís what the journeyís for
So you set out, full of hope, but with a heavy load
All the baggage of your upbringing
All the love, yes, but the fuckedupness too
Maybe the absent father, or the smothering mother,
or the cold indifference of those around you
Itís no wonder youíve a rough ride coming
Itís gonna get tough and itís got to
So you can find yourself
So you can become, a real man
And thatís when you hit the second stage of life
The initiation in the rapids and the storms
Thatís when you find the pain of brokenheartedness
Love affairs that fail, failures in career
and all your hopes for what the world might have been
Plenty young men founder grazed on such jagged rocks as these
Bruised and angry in a storm of violence towards self and others
But it doesnít have to stay like that
No, my friends, not if you push on and open to the inner grace
that will bring you courage
The courage to face reality as it is,
The courage to know your wound but to outgrow it,
and insist on beauty
The courage to open your heart,
to hold fast to truth,
and to stand each step in dignity
And thatís the courage that brings your boat to the third stage of life
To see how your small self is held in a greater Self
And that youíre fit to be an elder in your community,
able to share the gifts and the blessings
Able to support and inspire what gives life among your people
And to love your beloved,
to love and be loved by the Beloved no less, my friends
Because weíre talking here of love in all its meanings
And you can only love with a deepening heart
And that is why you had to grow courage on this journey to the ocean
Thatís what your battle wounds on the field of life were all about
That, my dear friends,
is what qualifies you
to be a man in your community
Capable of loving and able to be loved...
Capable of loving
and able to be loved...
Capable of loving
(by generous courtesy of Nizlopi)
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Thanks, folks, and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
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