Monday, April 12, 2010

The illustrated Hello: Desmond Tutu

Not, perhaps, the greatest tribute that Tutu has ever been given - once you've had the Nobel Prize, getting a chance to sit alongside Billy Corkhill and Little Neepsie in a song is hardly in the same league.

He didn't just fight aparthied; he also had a go at Tony Blair for following George Bush into Iraq:

"When does compassion, when does morality, when does caring come in? I just hope that one day that people will realise that peace is a far better path to follow. Many, many of us are deeply saddened to see a great country such as the United States aided and abetted extraordinarily by Britain. I have a great deal of time for your prime minister but I'm shocked to see a powerful country use its power frequently, unilaterally. The United States says you do this to the world, if you don't do it we will do it - that's sad."

Unlike Geldof and Bono, Tutu didn't seem convinced that he could only offer a little demurring mumble lest he undermine his power to be listened to on debt and poverty.

How to illustrate Tutu musically? How better than with a trio of anti-aparthied songs, when musicians were offering the solidarity with the African people that governments refused to offer.

First, Yami Bolo's Free Mandela, with the sort of low-quality imagery that makes the Chart Show indie rundown look like Avatar:



The more famous call for Mandela's freedom, from The Specials. The video is on YouTube, but - with no sense of irony - EMI doesn't want it released into the wider web, so here's the Top Of The Pops performance:



And, finally, while Queen and Status Quo were happy to go and take the apartheid regime's money for playing at the phoney homeland resort of Sun City, others were prepared to say no:



[Part of the Illustrated Hello]


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