Words and music by Robert L. Weston, Janet B. Young, Mark J. Young

People often ask songwriters if they have a favorite among their own works; it's a very difficult question for a creator, because of course there is something about each that is wonderful, and we tend to love them all, even those that are not so good.  It's a bit like asking a mother which is her favorite child.  For years, I could not answer that question.

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However, this is it.  This is, to my mind, the best song I ever wrote; I love everything about it--the message, the poetry of the lyrics, the musical structure, the melody, the harmonies (part of the original composition), even the instrumentation.  I hope I have done it justice here; and I hope you enjoy it.

Once again let me say thanks to those who downloaded and listened to John Three last month, and particularly those who took the time to drop me a note giving your thoughts.  Again, I hope you enjoyed it and perhaps in some small way benefited from it.  Again I'll plead the limits of the technology--there are technical problems, including hiss.  The two-part vocals are pretty much in my range this time, and the instruments once more are all midi-generated, all coded directly into the program.

Bob Weston helped write this shortly before the (first) Gulf War; I was working at Bechtel's Hope Creek project.  That makes it 1984 or '85.  I was strumming the first chord, and he started to sing, and then said to push it up to get the next chord.  I think I came in with the chorus, but we constructed it slowly from there.  The flute part was always present at the end of the first verse when the top vocal drops out, and was originally envisioned as something for that vocalist, but it was expanded later, and by the time TerraNova did this I was playing the flute and not singing either part.

The lyrics are particularly good, in my mind, because they never really commit to whether they are talking about The Holocaust of Nazi Germany, or whether they are addressing the abortion question of today.  In staying just vague enough that they could address either, they make a connection between them.

Of course, no one is perfect; I did blow a word somewhere in there.  The words printed here are correct.

Well, listen to it, and let me know what you think.  Again, I hope you enjoy it, and that it benefits you.

Reality has come over me as I slip away from myself.
The people I know can't tell the truth,
And I don't think I even care.
I can see the face of a million people passing by on a train.
The silence of a world as they pass on by still resounds in my brain.

Shed a tear for all the earth,
For she has closed her eyes to all the pain.
What will you do when it comes to you?
Will you run, or will you hide?
I can hear the screaming.

Lambs to the slaughter, they open not their mouth.
A sacrifice displeasing to their God.
The innocent must die.
Smoke is rising from eternal fire.
The one we would expect
Would be there to protect
Now breaks his vow and deals the fatal blow.

Shed a tear for all the earth,
For she has closed her eyes to all the pain.
What will you do when it comes to you?
Will you run, or will you hide?
I can hear the screaming.

I was dumb when they took my neighbor
(I hear those footsteps getting closer),
Held my tongue when they took my friend
(Oh, my heart! No need to be afraid!).
I was still when they took my brother
(They'll never take me).
Who will speak up for me?

The sacred dream is ended in the silent scream;

The breath of life is stifled by the surgeon's knife.

A holocaust inevitably comes
To those who place themselves too high,
To those who teach themselves the lie
That life and death is in their hands--

Mere men!  Too small to understand
The truth, the value of one soul.
And so their wisdom takes its toll
In infants shattered on the rock.

Such pain!  And yet it does not shock
Our hardened hearts, our souls of ash.
We throw their bodies in the trash
And tell ourselves it's for the best.

And that is how we treat the rest--
The useless crippled, and the old.
With every death our heart grows cold
'Til someone puts us in our tomb.

The gift of God comes in a maiden's womb.

Holocaust MP3

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