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Haiti...Rumours Of Glory here

That Song: Tom Ross, Middleton, Nova Scotia
Dear Rick:  Interesting project coupling music with world events and stories on Dispatches... You recently ran a piece about a physiotherapist in Haiti (October 7)
I am physiotherapist in Nova Scotia and spent 2 weeks in Haiti in April '10 working at the field hospital of Project Medishare, under the auspices of the Univ. of Miami. The song that ran through my mind during this experience was Bruce Cockburn's Rumours of Glory from the 1980 release Humans. The lyric that particularly resonated went:    
                  "beneath the pain/fear, etched on the faces
                    something is shining like gold, but better" 
 
Many of our patients had the most remarkable smiles under extremely distressing circumstances.  

 The first verse of the song is eerily reminiscent of nightfall at the tent hospital where I was working. Our compound was immediately adjacent to the Port-au-Prince airport so there were frequent arrivals and departures of aircraft, leaving attendant vapour trails. Also, with limited electricity in the city, once night started to descend, the low hills surrounding the airport would darken and only be illuminated by a few lights scattered over the hillside.
 
I'm not certain of the circumstances that inspired this song 30 years ago, but it is very fitting for present day Port-au-Prince, and its' inhabitants.
 
"above the dark town
after the sun's gone down
two vapour trails cross the sky
catching the day's last slow good-bye
black skyline looks rich as velvet
something is shining like gold but better
rumours of glory"
This song helped to encourage me that Haiti may once again experience happier days.
Cheers , Tom Ross


 

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