The composition was triggered by the beginning of the 2nd Gulf War, on January 16th 1991 ("Operation Desert Storm"), and the reading of the speechless and, in its frighteningly accurate prophecy,
stirring passage by the German author Heinrich Heine (1797 - 1856) - (see footnote)
Style: jazzrock ballad
Lyrics: quotations & comments by various authors and personalities on rather difficult/distressing political and social aspects of our lives (»» lyrics)
THE PC ORCHESTRA: Alex. Villinger: bass, acoustic guitar; Ricardo Tomás: electric lead guitar; Günther Ling: keyboards; Richard Samoth: drums & percussion; Alexandre Tomás: saxophone (tenor); Speaker: Martin Luther King Jr.*
* Excerpt from the famous "I have a dream" speech given on August 28th, 1963 in Washington D.C.
Footnote: the passage in question (in German) is on our German website; below you will find the English translation:
● Heinrich Heine, Zur Geschichte der Religion und Philosophie in Deutschland; zuerst erschienen in: »Revue des deux Mondes«, »De L'Allemagne depuis Luther« (Première Partie: März, Deuxième Partie: November, Troisième Partie: Dezember 1834). In: Der Salon Bd. II (1835)
Troisième Partie (third book): ... Christianity - and this is its most beautiful merit - has soothed to some extent that
brutal Germanic fighting frenzy, but could not destroy it, and when once the taming talisman, the cross, breaks, then the wildness of the old fighters, the nonsensical
berserk rage, of which the Nordic poets sing and say so much, rattle up again. That talisman is rotten, and the day will come when it will collapse miserably; the old stone gods
will then rise from the lost rubble and rub the thousand-year-old dust out of their eyes, and Thor with the giant hammer finally jumps up and smashes the Gothic cathedrals. When you
then hear the rumbling and clanking, beware, you neighboring children, you Frenchmen, and do not interfere in the business we do at home in Germany. It could get you bad. Beware of
igniting the fire, beware of putting it out; you could easily burn your fingers on the flames. Don't smile at my advice, at the advice of a dreamer who warns you of Kantians,
Fichteans and natural philosophers. Do not smile at the phantom, who expects the same revolution in the realm of apparitions that has taken place in the realm of the Spirit.
The thought precedes the deed, like lightning precedes thunder. The German thunder is, of course, also a German and is not very limber and comes a little slowly rolled up; but it
will come, and if you hear it once crack, as it has never cracked in world history, so you know, the German thunder has finally reached its goal. At this sound the eagles will
fall from the air dead, and the lions in the farthest desert of Africa will pinch their tails and hide in their royal caves. A play will be performed in Germany, whereas the
French Revolution will only appear as a harmless idyll ... And the hour will come. As if on the steps of an amphitheatre, the peoples will group around Germany to watch the great
fighting game. I advise you, you Frenchmen, to then remain very still, and be careful not to applaud. We could easily misunderstand that, and, in our rude manner, send you somewhat
harshly to rest; for if we could sometimes overwhelm you before, in our servil disenchanted state, we are still far more able to do so in the overmute of the young rush of freedom -
you yourselves know what one can do in such a state, and you are no longer in such a state - beware!
Requiem für die Ignoranten, SV.54
(surrealist painting by the US artist Nancy Fouts)
The structure of the song´s lyrics is "flexible"; i.e. the various quotes/comments etc. (on rather difficult/distressing political and social aspects of our lives) - in the three
languages English, Portuguese and German - are a kind of "infinite" fundus from which one can draw, and which is constantly supplemented by current news/comments/quotes. For song performances, monolingual or multilingual text passages can be combined at will; repetitions of certain quotations or insertion of quotations in other languages are also options. Also reciting Heine's original text passage (see footnote) - which inspired both the structure and the lyric conception of this song -, or the insertion of original audio/video recordings (e.g. Martin Luther King's famous "I have a dream" speech) are options.
The circumstances of the performance and the criteria of the speaker or group will ultimately determine the choice of text and the type of declamation*.
STAGE DIRECTIONS for concerts:
(1) Simultaneous transmission of the quotes/comments (plus authorship) declaimed by the speaker onto a large projection screen is
desirable. The same applies to the insertion of audio/video recordings of famous or important speeches or the latest news on the heinous Ukraine war ...
(2) A video (YouTube) can be shown as a prelude or introduction to the song: e.g. the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24th
2022, which is the largest conventional military attack on a sovereign state in Europe since World War II!
(3) Showing a suitable/current video - without sound, of course! - during the entire song performance would be another option.