Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Whitie on the moon by Gil Scott Heron

A rat done bit my sister Nel
with Whitie on the moon
Her face and arm began to swell
and Whitie's on the moon

I can't pay no doctor bills
while Whitie's on the moon
10 years from now, I'll be payin' still
with Whitie on the moon

You know the man just upped my rent last night
cause Whitie's on the moon
No hot water, no toilet, no lights
but Whitie's on the moon

I wonder why he's uppin' me,
cause Whitie's on the moon?
well, I was already givin' him 50 a week
and now Whitie's on the moon

The taxes taken my whole damn check,
the junkies make me a nervous wreck,
and as if that crap wasn't enough

A rat done bit my sister Nel
with Whitie on the moon
Her face and arms began to swell
and Whitie's on the moon

With all that money I made last year
to put Whitie on the moon
How come I got no money here?
hmm, Whitie's on the moon

Y' know, I've just about had my fill
of Whitie on the moon
I think I'll send these doctor bills,
air mail special, to...

Whitie on the moon

I first heard this sometime in 1998. I dont quite remember the context, but it was mentioned by my Irish friend. This was the time when the world, at least the one i was living in and me included, were busy making money the easy way. We were buying and selling paper, actually it wasnt even paper, it was just an entry on a stock trader's web site. The impact of it was so minimal to me then. I didnt know what i was buying or why. But i was picking quite a few winners, just like an average monkey on the wall street. Back to 'Whitie on the moon', as soon as i heard this, i got the import of the lyric, crystal clear. Only recently, India had gone nuclear, and this poem or song couldnt have found a better home. Not that the land of oppurtunity has become any better since Gil wrote this, but more importantly more countries were abandoning the poor to chase the bandwagon of economic freedom and wealth and a newly coined name 'globalization' made it more fashionable to do so.
I have very little doubts that India is also following a path that is causing the gap between India and Bharat to increase. But i can also see that the immediate beneficiaries are also increasing in numbers to include a clan of over 500 million middle class population in India. So there is some right in this. However, to completely ignore the existence of the other 500million and to strut about in a flashy and airconditioned car doesnt serve the country well either.
And so the Whitie lives on... only now the Whitie has managed to find more converts.

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