NO MATTER WHAT

What if Rosa Parks had got up from her seat?
What if Churchill had agreed to negotiate with Hitler?
Sometimes even when you are down
Still you must refuse to bow down.

What if Dundee had not pushed out Clay in Round 5 against Liston?
What if Ali had kept his belt and gone to Vietnam?
Sometimes you have to face your opponent blindfolded, because that moment is your destiny and you just have to fight on.

To resist evil, no matter what
To do the right thing, no matter what
To stand to your conviction, no matter what
To keep on fighting, no matter what

A thousand years are as one day
And the way seems to last forever
Sometimes, like now, I feel so strange to myself
As if I were someone else
Somewhere else far far away
Awakening inside me
And, even though I don’t understand it
I just have to let it continue
To take over me,
No matter what.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

There’ll Be Help Along The Way (LIVE)

Live @ Summa Summarum Musikkeller Frankfurt 14.02.18

(V.1):
I remember
When the news hit me back in September
Daddy’s going home
Father father
Tell us will this be our last December?
Speak a word of hope

(CHORUS 1):
There’ll be storm and there’ll be rain
There’ll be tears and there’ll be pain
Keep on striving night and day
There’ll be help along the way
Those who have no fear to fail
Are the ones who never fail
Though they fall they’ll rise again
There’ll be help along the way
… way way way along the way

(V.2):
Have a vision
Live you life with purpose and a mission
Never never give up
Stick together
Be your brothers’ and your sister’s keeper
And keep your faith in God

(CHORUS 2):
When old friends have gone away – (way)
And new friends don’t feel the same – (same)
Yet stay on your lonely lane – (lane)
There’ll be help along the way –
Heaven helps who help themselves – (selves)
Don’t keep doubtig your success – (cess)
Just be faithful to your fate
There’ll be help along the way
… way way way along the way

(SAX SOLO)

(CHORUS 3):
Sometimes at the very start
The road you have to go looks hard
Just set off and just be brave
There’ll be help along the way
It’s no shame to be afraid
But don’t let it make you brake
’Cause in unexpected ways
Oh, there’ll be help along the way…

– Words/Music: Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

WITH STANDING ON THE PUNISHMENT OF SOCIETY

The scar whipped
The back proudly
The ground is stepping on me
Yes I will die standing up

If you thirst for freedom then
Feel free
To bury me standing
Upright –
Only slaves prostrate before their executioner!

If the ground stands on me
Well, so will I too.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.
From  “Palm Lines”
amazon cover copy palm lines 2015

IT IS WELL

When blood like a river
Attendeth my soul
When mirrors
Turn backwards and cold

Whatever my lot
Let the past work away
It is well, it is well
With my goal.

Out of hell, burning bell
Wring my soul, ring my soul
Though we fell, now ’tis well
With our goal.

CHE CHIDI CHUKWUMERIJE.

* inspired by Spafford’s 19th century eponymous hymn.

SHE WAS A WEIGHTLIFTER

She was a weightlifter
They found it unseemly
But she was a shape-shifter
Their disdain was a lighter burden to bear
Than her fate.

Slum lady. Carried mud and bricks
Bore stones and sticks
Firewood, rusted water in weeping baskets
The stretch marks of impatient thirsty men
Bunched up her muscles.

Owned by all, never owned a thing
The madams’ slaps, the masters’ secrets
Nothing was too heavy a load to carry
To snatch, to clean, to jerk off –
Each jerk. Very ordinary.

Today, when she steps out unto the mat
Under the lights, there you see
Sunset in one eye, sunrise in the other –
It’s not heavy weights she’s lifting
She’s carrying hope.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THE PRICE OF FREEDOM IS RESISTANCE

No master gon’ willingly let a slave go
No oppressor gon’ willingly let the oppressed rise to his level
If you wan’ freedom, you gon’ take a blow!

The loss of property and means
The loss of power
The loss of status
Yea, the loss of status
Hurts like hell.

When you rise, it means that
Someone else is no longer higher
Than you and has to stomach that –
Remember that.

You gon’ pay a heavy price
Because everyone around you
Knows the value
Of self—elevation, knowledge and freedom

They will make you pay for it
If you’re really worth it.

The price of your freedom is their resistance.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

WHO KNOWS?

The tension is mounting
The spring is wound
The wind is waiting
The tornado is forming, is coming
Is come.

Pain is the voice
Of the garden in you
Inviting you to come into it
There to discover the newest treasure
It has prepared for you
Upon its peaks.

How far can you go?
How long can you walk a path?
How come?

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

WHY WE SORROW, WHAT WE KNOW

Why we sorrow, what we know
No tomorrow, yet we sow
Because this night, because this night
Because this night
Will crack

Light, light, I see tomorrow
Through a crack so slight and mellow
There’s a tiny track

The pain, though great
Will end.
The rain, though late
The rain, though late
The rain, though late
Shall bend
Our way again, this I know
Though we sorrow, yet we know
We’ll smile again.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.