A few years ago i had the opportunity to go overseas on a trip thru Europe for a small tour..one of the places we would visit, actually our "home base", would be the city of Berlin..In all honesty I had no real idea of what to expect of it.. I mean, I'm from Holland.. grew up next to Germany with all the prejudices and good and bad notions that any country might have of a neighboring country, yet still had no real idea of what it was like, because I myself had never once physically been there.. I had heard stories from a former roommate in Hawaii, himself from New York, who had went.. and had compared it to his home state.. the little bars, the underground hangouts.. the art scene.. and over the years people had talked about Berlin as the new up and coming Metropolis of the social scene.. basically The Place To Be.. the place to see.. and experience.. so i was excited to go and jumped at the opportunity..
My people and I stayed in kreuzberg..now a cultural center.. formerly one of the poorest sections of the city.. from there I got to witness historic sites like Checkpoint Charli.. the crossing point between east and west Berlin.. as well as the Branden burger Tor.. another symbol of division of the city of which I had seen images everywhere and wanted more than anything get to chance to see in person ..also when i walked around X-Berg at times I observed bricks that seemed to randomly cross the streets at certain parts of the area.. I wondered what they symbolized and was told that that was where the Berlin wall was located before they tore it down in 1989.. the bricks being a reminder of its location..
All these things i got to experience.. and one thing that struck me was that while off course the people in the area are well aware of the history of the city and country ..and of the prejudices against her.. I felt like the emphasis there was on the positive.. there were so many beautiful people and so many exciting things to do everywhere.. the bars and spots full of life whenever we performed.. the after hour house parties.. the friendly helpful people we met and the vibrant feel of the city itself with its totally original street art all around.. it was like the people almost instinctively embraced every part of their life and history and used it as a voice to express their present state of being.. knowing..real..and hopeful ..I fell in love with Berlin.. intrigued by her history ..her culture.. her mix of people.. and I remember sitting down at a square right there in X-Berg and thinking.. "I gotta write a song about this city man"..
I follow the line of bricks in Berlin where the wall been
A scar printed in the memory of the city
Feel the mood gloomy of something consume me
Unspoken stories whispered in the wind of kin
separated by breaths of change only birds can befriend
Confirming that in war no one really wins
I witness the remnants of a past that flows over into the present
From street dwellers to deep grief in the walls graffiti
To children that live on the street
To the sadness of the city’s poetry
A land divided by time possibly no bigger crime could be committed
than the way they did it with her
Whether or not it was deserved
No communication at all Just wishing they could have heard
the stories From the beak of the birds
Seek its meaning And put it in words
Where past and present merges
Where dark deserted streets
Inspired me to word this
Where deep love
And light shines bright thru the dark
To balance wrong and right
Kids tell me “Ach was, mach spass..”
Rock until the dew drops on Berlin rooftops
After the jam holdin dialogue on what was
And what’s now: “Respekt!! ”You bow?! I bow!!
Cause what’s what, I see now
Clearer than I ever before could see..
Wow.. It hard to conceive how people could believe
the propaganda designed to deceive
And survive in truth despite the lies
And when I seen the love inside true eyes
I promise, It was enough to make me cry
To tears rendered, by innocence slandered
The pure persecuted without cause
Show me anyone in this world
Only mistake they made was living in a place
Without laws at a time with no grace