Manhattan-Kaboul by Renaud and Axel Red. The message it carries is powerful and oh so true. This clip isn’t very attractive and the translation is not the most eloquent but the lyrics are the most important part of the song, so there you are.
Renaud wrote this after the incidents of 11 September 2001 and the War in Afghanistan, and both artists sing from the perspective of a young American working in the World Trade Center and of an Afghan girl bombarded by the Americans; As they die, they tell us of their day and what happened to their city, how they are glad and sad they left the world, ‘destroyed on the altar of eternal violence’. Makes you think.
I think the instrumentation and the choice of lyrics is very effective in eliciting strong emotions from the listener. Although guitars, drums and voice (+ piano, violin etc) hardly stands out, the electric guitar’s whining riff exudes much more pathos than expected and the use of the duet is also effective in echoing the key message of the song. Both parties have suffered from the act of terrorism, whether it be on a personal level- innocent civilains dying in the hands of hatred and violence, or on a larger scale – the still horrendous situation in developing countries in the Middle East where inequality, terror and poverty are rife, and the sudden realisation of America’s no longer undefiled and almost deified post-Cold War supremacy.
And with that, happy listening!