Sunday, July 17, 2005

Grapes of Wrath (don't give up)

In this proud land we grew up strong
We were wanted all along
I was taught to fight
Taught to win
I never thought I could fail

No fight left or so it seems
I am a man whose dreams have all deserted
I've changed my face
I've changed my name
But no one wants you when you lose

Don't give up
'Cause you have friends
Don't give up
You're not beaten yet
Don't give up
I know you can make it good

Though I saw it all around
Never thought that I could be affected
Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Drove the night toward my home
The place that I was born, on the lakeside
As daylight broke, I saw the earth
The trees had burned down to the ground

Don't give up
You still have us
Don't give up
We don't need much of anything
Don't give up
'Cause somewhere there's a place where we belong

I was just listening to Peter Gabriel's duet with Kate Bush "Don't Give Up", which is a powerful ballad of encouragement while reading John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath". I got all stirred up when these two media sources engaged my memory banks and heart!

Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush Posted by Picasa

The powerful lyrics and image of the Don't Give Up Video (RealPlayer) and the book of the struggles of the displaced families meshed together. So I did the Google search and while it may be old info to some, I was blessed to find out that Peter Gabriel was inspired to write the song after seeing a TV show about unemployment and family life, and a photo of a family in the dust bowl depression. 'The basic idea is that handling failure is one of the hardest things we have to learn to do.'

The Dust Bowl Posted by Picasa

"For eight years dust blew on the southern plains. It came in a yellowish-brown haze from the South and in rolling walls of black from the North. The simplest acts of life -- breathing, eating a meal, taking a walk -- were no longer simple. Children wore dust masks to and from school, women hung wet sheets over windows in a futile attempt to stop the dirt, farmers watched helplessly as their crops blew away."

The Grapes of Wrath Posted by Picasa
As John Steinbeck wrote in his 1939 novel The Grapes of Wrath: "And then the dispossessed were drawn west- from Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico; from Nevada and Arkansas, families, tribes, dusted out, tractored out. Car-loads, caravans, homeless and hungry; twenty thousand and fifty thousand and a hundred thousand and two hundred thousand. They streamed over the mountains, hungry and restless - restless as ants, scurrying to find work to do - to lift, to push, to pull, to pick, to cut - anything, any burden to bear, for food. The kids are hungry. We got no place to live. Like ants scurrying for work, for food, and most of all for land."

Rest your head
You worry too much
It's going to be alright
When times get rough
You can fall back on us
Don't give up
Please don't give up

Got to walk out of here
I can't take anymore
Going to stand on that bridge
Keep my eyes down below
Whatever may come
And whatever may go
That river's flowing
That river's flowing

Moved on to another town
Tried hard to settle down
For every job, so many men
So many men no-one needs

Don't give up
'Cause you have friends
Don't give up
You're not the only one
Don't give up
No reason to be ashamed
Don't give up
You still have us
Don't give up now
We're proud of who you are
Don't give up
You know it's never been easy
Don't give up
'Cause I believe there's a place
There's a place where we belong

About The Dust Bowl:

PBS - Surviving the Dust Bowl

What is the Dust Bowl

Peter Gabriel song facts

Available from NetFlix / Grapes of Wrath movie review

Peter Gabriel-Play: The Videos

No comments: