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THERE ARE TOO MANY SAVIOURS ON MY CROSS (Richard Harris) Richard Harris - 1971 There are too many saviours on my cross Lending their blood to flood out my ballot box With needs of their own Who put you there? Who told you that that was your place? You carry me secretly, naked in your heart And clothe me publicly in armour, crying, "God is on our side" Yet I openly cry, "Who is on mine? Who, tell me who?" You who bury your sons and cripple your fathers Whilst you buried my father in crippling his son The antiquated Saxon sword Rusty in its scabbard of time, now rises You gave it cause in my name Bringing shame to the thorned head That once bled for your salvation I hear your daily cries in the far off byways And your mouth pointing north and south And my Calvary looms again, desperate in rebirth Your earth is partitioned, but in contrition It is the partition in your hearts that you must abolish You nightly watchers of Gethsemane Who sat through my nightly trial, delivering me from evil Now, deserted, I watch you share your silver Your purse, rich in hate, bleeds my veins of love Shattering my bone in the dust of the Bogside and the Shankhill Road There is no issue stronger than the tissue of love No need as holy as the palm outstretched in the run of generosity No monstrosity greater than the acre you inflict Who gave you the right to increase your fold And decrease the pastures of my flock? Who gave you the right? Who gave it to you, who? And in whose name do you fight? I am not in heaven I am here, hear me I am in you, feel me I am of you, be me I am with you, see me I am for you, need me I am all mankind Only through kindness will you reach me What masked and bannered men can rock the Ark and navigate a course to their anointed kingdom come? Who sailed their captain to waters that they troubled in my font Sinking in the ignorant seas of prejudice? There is no virgin willing to conceive in the heat of any Bloody Sunday You children, lying in cries on Derry streets Pushing your innocence to the full-flushed face of Christian guns Battling the blame on each other Do not grow tongues in your dying dumb wounds speaking my name I am not your prize in your death You have exorcised me in your game of politics Go home to your knees, and worship me in any cloth for I was never tailor-made Who told you I was? Who gave you the right to think it? Take your beads in your crippled hands Can you count my decades? Take My love in your crippled hearts Can you count the loss? I am not orange, I am not green I am a half-ripe fruit, needing both colours to grow into ripeness And shame on you to have withered my orchard I, in my poverty, alone without trust Cry shame on you and shame on you again and again For converting me into a bullet and shooting me into men's hearts The ageless legend of my trial grows old, and the youth of your pulse Staggering shamelessly from barricade to grave Filing in the book of history my needless death one April Let me in my betrayal lie low in my grave And you in your bitterness lie low in yours For our measurements grow strangely dissimilar Our Father, who art in Heaven, sullied be Thy Name! **This was written with regard to the sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland in the 60's/70's, but could really apply to any conflict being carried on around the globe. (Contributed by Mel Priddle - August 2014)

    


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