1068 Biko






"Biko" is an anti-apartheid protest song by English rock musician Peter Gabriel. The song is a musical eulogy, inspired by the death of the black South African anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko in police custody on 12 September 1977.





Gabriel wrote the song after hearing of Biko's death on the news. Influenced by Gabriel's growing interest in African musical styles, the song carried a sparse two-tone beat played on Brazilian drum and vocal percussion, in addition to a distorted guitar, and a synthesised bagpipe sound. 





The lyrics, which included phrases in Xhosa, describe Biko's death and the violence under the apartheid government. The song is book-ended with recordings of songs sung at Biko's funeral: the album version begins with "Ngomhla sibuyayo" and ends with "Senzeni Na?", while the single versions end with "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika".





September '77
Port Elizabeth weather fine
It was business as usual
In police room 619
Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
Yihla Moja, Yihla Moja
The man is dead
The man is dead
When I try to sleep at night
I can only dream in red
The outside world is black and white
With only one colour dead
Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
Yihla Moja, Yihla Moja
The man is dead
The man is dead
You can blow out a candle
But you can't blow out a fire
Once the flames begin to catch
The wind will blow it higher
Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko

Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
Yihla Moja, Yihla Moja
The man is dead
The man is dead
And the eyes of the world are watching now

watching now

watching now


























 

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