mp3: PJ Harvey – “Shaker Aamer”

SHAKER AAMER
Need more awesome? Listen to our FAVORITE SONGS OF 2014. Make sure you don't miss any tunes: FOLLOW US ON TWITTER.

Of the two names in this post’s headline, you might only recognize PJ Harvey’s, but that’s about to change. Her muse on this track, Shaker Aamer, is the last British citizen currently being held at Guantanamo Bay. Despite being pardoned by both Bush and Obama, and never tried or charged with any crime, Aamer’s been held for eleven years, participating in hunger strikes and undergoing torture, though the British government has tried to negotiate his safe return. Harvey’s lovely, minimalist ode to him is meant to raise awareness about his plight – as the US transfers other prisoners from Guantanamo, no plans to free Aamer have been announced. Check out her track and spread the word: like her best songs, it’s gorgeous, moving, and smartly, concisely written, but with a heartstring-tugging, shimmeringly angry social justice edge.

The song’s lyrics:

“No water for three days.
I cannot sleep, or stay awake.

Four months hunger strike.
Am I dead, or am I alive?

With metal tubes we are force fed.
I honestly wish I was dead.

Strapped in the restraining chair.
Shaker Aamer, your friend.”

In Camp 5, eleven years.
Never charged. Six years cleared.

“They took away my one note pad,
and then refused to give it back.

I can’t think straight, I write, then stop.
Your friend Shaker Aamer. Lost.

The guards just do what they’re told,
the doctors just do what they’re told.

Like an old car I’m rusting away.
Your friend, Shaker. Guantanamo Bay.”

Don’t forget.

What did you think?
 16  4  1  1
PMA_WIC_Chrome_Sparks
PMA Presents

Spend a Saturday with us on a boat.

READ MORE
operators
Music

Check out Dan Boeckner’s (of Wolf Parade, Handsome Firs, and Divine Fits) new new new band.

READ MORE
TWIN SHADOW
Music

…on the “Comedy Bang! Bang!” podcast.

READ MORE
1401136137000-ChancetheRapper-Sasquatch
Music

… to cover the Arthur theme song.

READ MORE
LIL-SILVA-MABEL
Music

The buzzy UK producer teams up with his most frequent collaborator.

READ MORE
wampire_bazaar
Music

The Portland-based outfit announce their new album

READ MORE
ggggee33
Videos

Hear the new single from the Radiohead drummer’s solo outfit

READ MORE
f7831f2f6d5f73b1357bfdd70200fea9
Music

Hear a new tear shit up anthem from Walking Legend

READ MORE
Radio 1's Hackney Weekend - London
Music

“Champagne Kisses” will most likely appear on her forthcoming new album Tough Love

READ MORE