Mittwoch, 18. März 2015

Musik des Tages: Amused To Death, oder: 1984

(Roger Waters: "The Ballad of Bill Hubbard / Amused to Death" [gekürzte Version], aus dem Album "Amused to Death", 1992)

Alf Razzell war ein Soldat im Ersten Weltkrieg, der in einem TV-Report von seiner Vergangenheit erzählte. Zu seinen Aufgaben gehörte es, auf dem Schlachtfeld und in den Schützengräben die Soldbücher der Gefallenen einzusammeln; eine Tätigkeit, die ihn ständig mit entsetzlichsten Wunden, Verstümmelungen, Leichen und Leichenteilen konfrontierte. Hier berichtet er von dem vergeblichen Versuch, den tödlich verwundeten Soldaten Bill Hubbard aus einem Schützengraben zu retten.


[switch TV channel]

Alf Razzell: Two things that have haunted me most are the days when I had to collect the paybooks; and when I left Bill Hubbard in no-man's-land. / I was picked up and taken into their trench. And I'd no sooner taken two or three steps down the trench when I heard a call, "Hello Razz, I'm glad to see you. This is my second night here," and he said "I'm feeling bad," and it was Bill Hubbard, one of the men we'd trained in England, one of the original battalion. I had a look at his wound, rolled him over; I could see it was probably a fatal wound. You could imagine what pain he was in, he was dripping with sweat; and after I'd gone about three shellholes, traversed that, had it been ... had there been a path or a road I could have done better. He pummelled me, "Put me down, put me down, I'd rather die, I'd rather die, put me down." I was hoping he would faint. He said "I can't go any further, let me die." I said "If I leave you here Bill you won't be found, let's have another go." He said "All right then." And the same thing happened; he couldn't stand it any more, and I had to leave him there, in no-man's-land."

[switch TV channel to entertainment bullshit]

Doctor Doctor, what is wrong with me
This supermarket life is getting long
What is the heart life of a colour TV
What is the shelf life of a teenage queen
Ooh, western woman - ooh western girl

News hound sniffs the air when Jessica Hahn goes down
He latches on to that symbol of detachment
Attracted by the peeling away of feeling
The celebrity of the abused shell the belle

No tears to cry, no feelings left -
This species has amused itself to death.

[switch TV channel]

Alf Razzell: Years later, I saw Bill Hubbard's name on the memorial to the missing at Arras. And I ... when I saw his name I was absolutely transfixed; it was as though he was now a human being instead of some sort of nightmarish memory of how I had to leave him, all those years ago. And I felt relieved, and ever since then I've felt happier about it, because always before, whenever I thought of him, I said to myself, "Was there something else that I could have done?" And that always sort of worried me. And having seen him, and his name in the register - as you know in the memorials there's a little safe, there's a register in there with every name - and seeing his name and his name on the memorial; it sort of lightened my ... heart, if you like.

Woman: When was it that you saw his name on the memorial?

Alf Razzell: Ah, when I was eighty-seven, that would be the year ... nineteen ... eighty-four, nineteen eighty-four.

[switch TV off]

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