Monday, October 22, 2007

Whitey on the Moon

We live in arguably one of the richest countries in the world. We live in the richest country in the world yet so do over 31 million poor people, 3 million of whom are homeless and wander the streets eating from garbage cans and sleeping in alleys and overpasses. Extreme poverty is overshadowed by government spending billions upon billions of dollars on various projects , such as the space program.

I think if there is one commentary that captures this disparity best, it is Whitey on the Moon as performed by Gil Scot Heron.

It is a cultural commentary depicting socio-economic and racial inequity of the late 1960s in the United States, inspired by the Moon Landing of 1969.

Whitey on the Moon - Gil-Scott Heron (1972)

A rat done bit my sister Nell with Whitey on the moon.

Her face and arms began to swell and Whitey's on the moon.

I can't pay no doctor bills but Whitey's on the moon.

Ten years from now I'll be payin' still while Whitey's on the moon.

The man just upped my rent last night cuz Whitey's on the moon.

No hot water, no toilets, no lights but Whitey's on the moon.

I wonder why he's uppin me. Cuz Whitey's on the moon?

I was already givin' him fifty a week but now Whitey's on the moon.

Taxes takin' my whole damn check,

The junkies makin' me a nervous wreck,

The price of food is goin' up,

And as if all that shit wasn't enough:

A rat done bit my sister Nell with Whitey on the moon.

Her face and arms began to swell but Whitey's on the moon.

Was all that money I made last year for Whitey on the moon?

How come there ain't no money here? Hmm! Whitey's on the moon.

Ya know, I just about had my fill of Whitey on the moon.

I think I'll send these doctor bills

airmail special....

to Whitey on the moon.


The Red Son said...

one of my favorite songs, ever

blackstone said...

one of mine also!