Monday, April 25, 2011

Ringing BELLS in Haiti

At many times, we can feel that red thread of destiny that connects us all. The thread was very evident a few days ago when a musician / friend contacted us and shared a link to a song that he thought we'd be interested in. He was so right!

Brink is an amazing gospel country and bluegrass singer / composer / all around talented musical guy. He has had over 100 of his songs recorded and plays various instruments including guitar and piano. Brink has a way of getting in your head with his songs, making it personal to you, making you feel like you are living his lyrics. The messages of his songs are smart and the tunes hang out in your mind for a long time after the music is over.

Back in the '70s, Brink wrote a song called "BELLS". Originally, it was written as a statement of the terrible conditions in many large cities. He and his friend Dave used to sing it back in the day. Following the earthquake in Haiti, Dave adapted the song to the Haiti crisis. His unique combination of Brink's haunting tune and modified lyrics coupled with unsettling video footage from the media have created this very moving video.

The original chorus:
The sky is filled with smog and smoke from the factories.
the stench in the air from a million stray dogs and piles of dog feces.
A child plays on the floor with cockroaches and fleas.
A sign comes down to label man a very...endangered species.

The new chorus:
The sky is filled with the smoke from the bodies burning in a heap.
The stink in the air and a million homeless out in the street.
A child in the corner crawls on the floor with cockroaches and fleas.
A sign comes down to challenge man to save... endangered Haiti.

Sadly, the Port-au-Prince cityscape hasn't changed as much as we had hoped over the past 15 months since the quake. Crumbled buildings surround hundreds of thousands still living under sheets, tablecloths and tarps (labeled "tents" by the media), sleeping on pieces of cardboard on dirt floors, residing in filth and unsanitary conditions. Thousands upon thousands search for work, where there is little to be had, doing their best to provide for their families. People scrape by on a single meal of rice and beans every day. And, of course, let's not forget the countless needy and fragile children that we see on the streets. These images remind us of how fragile Haiti's children are and why we are committed to our work there.

We are committed to these children and PROMISE to create as much positive change as possible through our programs. And we thank you for your interest in our work.

(If you are interested in any of Brink's other songs, you can get more information and listen to clips on cdbaby.)

1 comment:

Jan said...

Thanks for keeping Haiti and its people top of mind. It's too easy to slip back into our "normal" world and forget that hurting people still need help.