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Lay for the Day
15th July


1985: huge star-spangled concerts are held in London and Philadelphia, and televised worldwide, under the banner of Live Aid, in response to the suffering caused by civil war, drought and famine in Ethiopia.
 

Heart of the World


Yesterday was heavy cloud
Rolling from the west and south
And blowing rain.
Today we wake up to a warmer sun,
A bright blue sky where small clouds run
And not a sign of rain.
Look how the spring begins,
Borne on an African wind
Like a banner unfurled
From the heart of the world,
The land of imanity’s birth,
Round all four corners of the earth,
Filled to the full, filled fit to burst
With war and plague, famine and thirst

Get up and wash your hands and face,
Do a bit of cleaning round the place.
Looks like a whirlwind passed through.
Up till all hours with your friends,
Rolling up till you’re out of skins,
Some sweet nice rockers coming through
Like a banner unfurled
From the heart of the world,
The land of imanity’s birth
Round all four corners of the earth,
Filled to the full, filled fit to burst
With plenty of need, and bloodshed and worse.

On your bike and down to the market.
Fresh stuff, tinned stuff, stuff in packets.
Load them all into your panniers.
Then sweat back home with a whole week’s food,
But the sunshine’s fine and keeping you cool
Is this wind from Africa…

But later on the sky turns grey,
The blackbird flies in a gust of rain
And the sirens play.
And I’ve got my own worries.
And I’ve got a life of my own –

Filled to the full, filled fit to burst
With cause for thanksgiving and yearning and thirst.

Never mind the rising tide,
Go on your way, be not afraid.
Someone is watching over you.
After all your foolishness
There may come a time to bless,
A time to make new,
Like a banner unfurled
From the heart of the world,
The land of imanity’s birth,
Round all four corners of the earth,
Filled to the full, filled fit to burst
With righteousness from the last to the first.

 

Words and music by The Children
 

The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar