Okay, so I'm usually not much for soccer chants, but this one grabbed me. With so many people working hard during the World Cup to raise awareness around the slave trade at large sporting events, I was leery about championing a song heralding just such an event.
But then I read the lyrics.
Really read them.
Soccer be thrashed (gasp! heresy!), this song is about freedom! This song is singing the song rising from the underground… from slave victims… from emancipated slaves… from abolitionists…
Then some young Canadian artists came together to raise money for Haiti after the eartquake. K'naan's song was the theme. Again, like soccer chants, not a fan of all the artists indvidually, but when they came together and sang these words — more about freedom than about sport — a chord was again struck in me.
To all the wavin' flags out there, unseen but not unsung, unknown but not unheard, you are our wavin' flags. Without you, we wouldn't know to listen to the songs risin' from the underground. We wouldn't know the hope and joy and laughter amidst poverty and violence. We wouldn't know the wonderful, immeasurable lives who make us all who are. Without your voices, we would cease to be.
You have not waited until you're older to sing out; you have not waited to be stronger before speaking out; you are our lights and our graces; you are our beauty in the mess and the wonder; you're out laughter when the dark is too much.
Your song brings a smiling hope. Yeah, you! Woohoo!
So, readers, I hope you wake up in the morning (like I did today), with the refrain in your heads: "When I get older, I will be stronger; they'll call me freedom just like a wavin' flag…"
Wavin' Flag – Artists for Haiti Version
(music video at the bottom)
Songwriters: Lawrence, Phillip; Mars, Bruno; Warsame, Keinan;