Take that….

I heard this song on the radio for several consecutive days a couple of years ago, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since. The skippy beats and above all, Asa’s distinctive voice keep the tune wafting through the dark & cobwebbed corners of my mind.

Clearly this is someone who has a different outlook on life & society that one normally encounters in fat & self-satisfied, stupid, America. The line about throwing stones is very wise, almost sly, and the entire conceit of the song hits at something that I’ve felt many times: who’s to say who is the jailer and who is the prisoner? Who’s leading and who’s led? Who truly wields the power, and who thinks they do? The tool works at both ends, and power that must be enforced by the gun is no power at all. Victims are not only those victimized by those in the uniforms; the ones in the uniforms can be victims too. It’s fascinating the way Asa brings it back to each soul’s individual responsibility and one’s ultimate burden of judgement or acquittal that must come on the Last Day. She constantly emphasizes our common humanity that surpasses anything sectarian or jingoistic. We are all one human race; don’t you think it’s time we acted like it?

The forces that control our world try to enforce their point of view, but individuality, freedom, and the indomitable human spirit that throws a middle finger at all restraint will shine through. Asa’s voice is much gentler than that sort of rude hand gesture, but maybe it’s that very gentleness in her voice that makes it clear that she’s not going anywhere. That voice says: Starve me, beat me, impoverish me, betray me — do whatever you want to me — I’ll still be here, because I can’t be tamed, I can’t be defeated, I can’t be made to wait indefinitely; I can’t be held back. Just try and stop me…

May we all hear and heed that small clear voice inside us that refuses to eat whatever we’re fed, and instead thinks for itself.

I’m in chains you’re in chains too
I wear uniforms and you wear uniforms too
I’m a prisoner,
You’re a prisoner too Mr Jailer

I have fears you have fears too
I will die, you sef go die too
Life is beautiful
Don’t you think so too Mr Jailer

[Chorus:]
I’m talking to you jailer
Stop calling me a prisoner
Let he who is without sin –
Be the first to cast the stone Mr Jailer, Mr Jailer Man

You suppress all my strategies
You oppress every part of me
What you don’t know,
You’re a victim too Mr Jailer

You don’t care about my point of view
If I die another will work for you
So you treat me like a modern slave Mr Jailer

[Chorus]

You see, if you’re walking in a market place
Don’t throw stones
Even if you do, you just might hit
One of your own
Life is not about your policies
All the time
So you better rearrange your
Philosophies and be good to your Fellow man
Jailer

[Chorus x2]

I hear my baby say
I wanna be president
I wan chop money
From my government
What he don’t know
What he won’t know
What he can’t know
Jailer, Jailer oh
Be good oh [x3] somebody
Be good oh [x6]
Jailer, Jailer

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