Des de Moor

Heart of a Heartless World
Water of Europe Water of Europe
One of 12 new English chansons and three covers on this 1999 solo album.
More details.
Des de Moor
voice, acoustic guitar, bass drum, tambourine
Stanley Adler
Julia Doyle
double bass, violin
David Harrod

This tune originated as a song to someone else's words, for a Sturdy Beggars' show, Groping for Trouts in a Peculiar River, in August 1993. It was sung by a female hangman expressing her joy at being recalled to her profession after many decades. I thought the tune was too good to waste so in 1995 I wrote some new words. The following quote may help to put the piece in context:

"Religious suffering is at once the expression of real suffering and the protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of spiritless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

"The overcoming of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. The demand that they should abandon illusions about their conditions is the demand to give up conditions that require illusions."

Karl Marx, 'Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right: Introduction' (1844)

When the voices in heads became voices in sound
Then the word was made flesh and it dwelt all around.
We'd hunt and we'd gather and cultivate grains
In the life-giving sun of the African plains.
Then the water dried up, and the crops wouldn't grow,
And we pleaded with nature, and it shouted back "No!",
And then came the Angels, the shapes of our fears
On vengeful patrol in this sad vale of tears
Beyond our precarious hearths as we curled,
Drawn close to the heart of a heartless world.

And then came the prophets to preach to the frightened:
The bearded and raving, the fat and enlightened,
The side-show messiahs who died then arose
And the ones who descended from stray UFOs.
Because we had suffered and struggled to be,
Because we had made ourselves partially free,
For work that's a blessing and nature that's cursed,
For all the best reasons and most of the worst,
They gathered and marched with their banners unfurled,
The cruel Lion Heart of a heartless world.

They wrote their commandments on bloodstained old pages:
The din of their jihads resounds through the ages,
The righteous divisions, dividing the riches
From heretics, heathens, blasphemers and witches
And shepherding flocks of the godless and tribal
With guns for their staffs and their burden their bible.

And still there's an endless parade to my door
Like vultures that pick at the corpse of the poor
Come the witnesses, laymen and Latter Day Saints,
All charming and chastened in their sexual restraints,
And priests and prime ministers pray for our sins
And mystics on telly guess lottery wins
And protesting Protestants splutter and rage
And mad acid casualties hail the new age.
These bearings you take in this pit where we're hurled
Are still just false hearts in a heartless world.

These bearings you take in this pit where we're hurled
Are only false hearts in a heartless world.

Written: Oxford Street and Deptford, London, May 1995

Des de Moor

Des de Moor

© Copyright Des de Moor 1999

From the album Water of Europe (see left).

All rights reserved. No material on these pages can be reproduced in whole or in part in any form, except for short passages for the purpose of quotation or review, without prior written permission of the copyright owner.

 More lyrics
Dirty Pictures
Heart of a Heartless World
To Those Born After (Bertolt Brecht; Hanns Eisler)
Joey's Dreams
Water of Europe
Big Sister
Sleaze City
Sharp Contradictions
Ordinary Joe (Andrew Brooks/Michael Hodges)
My Father Said (Jacques Brel)
Grandmother was a Hero
Last Orders Please
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