Does a 35 year-old song hold the secret to the world's future?

JWR Schticks and groans

Jewish World Review / August 11, 1998 / 19 Menachem-Av, 5758

Does a 35 year-old song hold the secret to the world's future?

Below, in italics, are lyrics to a song penned by E.Y. "Yip" Harburg -- better known for the popular Brother,Can You Spare a Dime? and Somewhere Over the Rainbow -- and originally performed by the Kingston Trio in the early 1960s. Under it, in bold type, are actual headlines and news excerpts by Associated Press, Agence France Presse, Israeli TV, The Star-Ledger, IRNA news agency, The New York Times and The Washington Post, May-June, 1998.

By David Twersky

They’re rioting in Africa

Ethiopians, Eritrea halt air strikes

They’re starving in Spain

The unemployment rate in the European Union in April, 10.2 percent, remained unchanged. Spain registered the highest rate, with 18.9 percent.

There’s hurricanes in Florida

Tornado Destroys Spencer, South Dakota, Killing Six People

And Texas needs rain.

This time, Los Angeles may lose water war

The whole world is festering with unhappy souls,

Lott labels homosexuality a sin that people need help to control

The French hate the Germans,

The European Union is nearing compromise on the major roadblock to forming a European Central Bank...a prolonged and bitter fight over France’s insistence that Jean-Claude Trichet, Governor of the Banque de France, fill the post. Germany and The Netherlands want Wim Duisenberg of The Netherlands.

The Germans hate the Poles,

Auschwitz synagogue will come alive again

Italians hate the Yugoslavs,

NATO jets patrol skies near Serbia in show of force South Africans hate the Dutch ... Disapproving foes, Botha will not testify at inquiry trial

And I don’t like anybody very much.

Soccer fans turn violent at World Cup site

But we may be thankful and tranquil and proud,

For Bruce Willis, Clinton’s ‘divisive,’ but Farrakhan is a stand-up guy

That man’s been endowed with a mushroom-shaped cloud,

Despite bomb tests, Russia selling two nuclear plants to India

And we know for certain, that some lucky day,

Weapons inspector sees U.N. lifting yoke from Iraq

Someone will set the bomb off

Pakistan blast equivalent to five kilotonnes: Russia

And we will all be blown away.

Premier Says India Capable of ‘Big Bomb’; Nation Has Plans For Nuclear Arms

They’re rioting in Africa,

Age-old curse of slavery alive in the Ivory Coast

There’s strife in Iran.

The trial of the suspended mayor of Tehran, Gholamhoseyn Karbaschi, resumed on 16th June for its third session.

What nature doesn’t do to us,

Recent Nuclear Tests Renew Theory On Link To Earthquakes — On May 30, 600 miles from the nuclear test sites, an earthquake devastated 84 villages and towns in neighboring Afghanistan, killing an estimated 5,000.

Will be done by our fellow man.

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi left here for Islamabad on Monday for talks with Pakistani officials expected to focus on nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan.

JWR contributor David Twersky is Editor in Chief of the New Jersey Jewish News.


8/05/98: The strange case of 'Brother Daniel'

©1998, David Twersky