Each Small Candle
Roger Waters
In The Flesh, 2000
Halfdan Rasmussen / Roger Waters

A touching and powerful human right's song that was inspired by several sources. The first verse of this song was taken directly from a poem by Danish poet Halfdan Rasmussen. The poem "Ikke Bodlen" was written for Amnesty International in 1979 and published in a book of poems about human rights. Roger Waters explained, "The English translation (which represents the first stanza of the song) proved to be very moving, and was set to music. The words remained untouched...Until Kosovo."

The remainder of this song was inspired by a Serbian soldier's courageous and humane act of kindness in the midst of war. Waters stated, "The London Times had a piece which told the story of a Serbian soldier who saw an Albanian woman lying wounded in a burned-out building. He left his platoon, went over and helped her, and then joined his men and marched off. There was sense in that image. The rest of the song is about that."

In 2004 Roger Waters wrote and recorded two new songs, "To Kill The Child" and "Leaving Beirut," in response to America's invasion of Iraq. Waters has explained that he started working on these two songs "...immediately after the invasion of Iraq, which is now fifteen months ago. It seems apposite to throw them out there on the Net, before the election. Historically, there have always been people within the artistic community who have spoken out about things they believe in and they should continue to do so. I shall certainly continue to do so, whether it has any effect or not, because I feel I have a responsibility to myself to do that."

Source(s): Each Small Candle / Press release, Roger Waters.com

Roger Waters Music and Lyric Resources:

Roger Waters Official Web Site

Roger Waters - Each Small Candle

Roger Waters Online

Roger Waters International Fan Club

Amnesty International - Music for Human Rights

Referenced and Related Works:

United Nation's "Universal Declaration of Human Rights"

Statute of Amnesty International

Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"

Andrew Salkey's, "After the War on the Land"

Jose Marti's, "I Cultivate A White Rose"

BBC News / Americas "They Couldn't Kill His Songs"

Witness ( external page )

YouTube – “Leaving Beirut” (external link)


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