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Theodorakis’ Ballad

ISSUE:  Summer 1995

You’ve been told lies. Now sing the real words,
Theodorakis growls from center stage.
Inside your ear’s the hammer of this world.

From his throat, the notes are husky chords;
a black-browed Greek, iron with age,
who’s been told lies, now sings the real words,

the ballad of Mauthausen that he forged
out of a girl’s hand, a simple image.
Inside your ear the hammer works her world.

You’re a thousand-headed audience, stirred
to dead quiet. He holds the floodlit stage.
You, lied to, never sang the real words
the way he does, spreading his palm upward.
A girl’s cold hand releases rage
far inside: your ear’s hammer hums. The world

beaten into a sword
has served obedient in every age
you’ve been told lies. Now, sing the real words.
Inside your ear’s the hammer of this world.


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