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about

Originally written to be performed in several separate sections. A still developing document, this shortened version is but a snapshot of its form in 2011.

lyrics

I: Benediction
All you drunken shiksa sweethearts with your bloodshot eyes of blue,
All you border-crossing feyglekh who've been quarantined for flu,
All you lost exilic aliens, you migrant mongrel stew,
You needn't feel farloyrn, you don't have to be blue;
Just climb aboard this ark of ours and join the soggy crew!
It's a diasporic politics, it’s a reconstructed you,
With permeable borders in between the old and new;
A way to hide away what they would take away from you.
Forget your god and country, and your revolution, too.
It's possible for you to leave the many for the few.
It don't matter if your daddy was from Poland or Peru;
Your blood might come from Turkey or Detroit or Timbuktu;
Your language could be Farsi, Sanskrit, German, or Zulu;
Come on, we've got some wandering to do!

So bring out your Jew, bring out your Jew.
You may have a Jew inside of you.
A Jew. A Jew. A secret little Jew.
A secret Jew is buried inside you.

II: Reckoning
My definition here could use some explanation, true.
You have to ask yourselves just what I mean when I say “Jew.”
Well, the Jewishness concerning us should not be misconstrued.
Blood and land are things with which it doesn't have to do.
Religion is a matter most irrelevant here, too:
So let us try to look at this anew;
To find a category underneath the ones we knew,
A mercurial identity for people who are strewn
in countries far and wide, who haven't got a home in view;
Who drag around like shackles all the roots from which they grew.
Well others have endured this gules, too.
And here I offer it all up to you.
A kosher Yiddish food-for-thought that goyim now can chew.
It's what they did with Jesus when they wrote the bible new.
Rebranded monotheism for wider public view.
So learn to take the rootless cosmopolitan world view,
In the hidden interstices we all normally eschew;
To shlep your gules proudly you must learn how to make do;
And learn learn learn is what the wise man tells us to

So learn to be a Jew, learn to be a Jew.
You may have a Jew inside of you. . .
Learn to be a Jew. I've read too much Badiou.
A secret Jew is hiding inside of you.

III. Atonement
Why should I put the emphasis on inner secret Jews?
We all have different nations that we wear like different shoes.
They carry us around so that our feet don't get too bruised.
It may seem to be easier to go out in the nude
To throw up our identities like half-digested food
So maybe it's reductive what I'm trying to pursue.
It's philo-semitism in a cheap semantic ruse.
It's highly problematic and will probably confuse.
And what about us people who are actually Jews?
With traumas all my deconstructed theories can't subdue.
Just ask a gentle German for a history review.
She'll tell you how they marked us with numerical tattoos.
They made us into ashes, hair and lamps and soap and glue.
And no, it wasn't something that I personally knew,
But they taught me all about it in my Temple Sunday School.
And I guess it kind of left me with some hang ups and taboos.
How can we wear the mantle of the martyred ghetto Jews?
We turned our backs on everything that brought our people through.
And did it really work to try to make a new Hebrew?
With the enemies we slew, the hatred grew and grew.
But the thing you hate in others is the thing you hate in you.
Now exile will return like deja vu.
And where it all went wrong nobody knew.
And we will all have to learn it anew;
Not only as a victim, but a perpetrator, too...

So learn to be a Jew, learn to be a Jew.
Learn to be a Post-Israeli Jew
A Jew a Jew, the problem isn't new.
You must be a Jew among the Jews.

IV. Absolution
So when they ask you for your papers and you don't know what to do
Remember in this moment what you're carrying with you
Because the day will come when all your papers are refused
And then you'll find yourself in exile, too.
You’re living in a land and time that aren’t made for you.
You're refugees from wars between religious points of view.
And you shlep around like shackles all the roots from which you grew.
So I talk about the inner Other hiding inside you.
And the name I give this other is a Jew.
But a Jew can be an Arab or a German or a Druze.
So if you have a better name that you would like to use
I'd love to read the testament of you
The imaginary messianic diasporic you
The broken and neurotic post apocalyptic you
See I mean this as a question, not an answer to your blues
The question is the answer and the answer, it is you
And forgive the self-indulgence that I spew
I just wrote this fucking thing where every sentence rhymes with Jew

So bring out your Jew, bring out your Jew.
You may have a Jew inside of you.
A Jew. A Jew. A secret little Jew.
A secret Jew is buried inside you.

V. Revelation
The hour’s getting late and soon we'll have to pay our dues.
We're faced with situations where we all will have to choose;
And no one will recover what we're all about to lose.
And history's a river full of things we'll have to use.
The world is turning colder and the walls are high and true;
The cities all are burning into something dark and new;
The fire and the waste have beat the heavens black and blue
You're refugees from wars between religious points of view
And all the broken borders of the names they put on you
You’re strangers in your home, even stranger sur la rue...

I have a little prophecy for you
An apocalyptic mystery, a clue:
When the world becomes Detroit
We all become like Jews
When Zion is destroyed
The promise will come true
Detroit is all your cities
And Zion is in you
So learn to take it with you
Learn to be a Jew

credits

from The Unternationale: The Fourth Unternational, released September 11, 2020
(Words & Music: Kahn)

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Auris Media Records Israel

Israeli label dealing with unusual experimental/avantgarde music.
Was established in 2003 and was dedicated to promote underground and independent music scene in Israel. The label plans to release the works and unique collaborations of independent artists of any kind from Israel and abroad, as well as live recordings of concerts organized by "Auris Media". ... more

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