Roger Waters Posts Anti-War Tracks Online

Veteran rock artist Roger Waters is releasing a pair of new songs today (Sept. 7) via online download outlets. According to the former Pink Floyd leader, work on “To Kill the Child” and “Leaving Beirut” began “immediately after the invasion of Iraq.

“It seems apposite to throw them out there on the Net, before the [U.S. presidential] election,” the Cambridge, England-born artist says. “Historically, there have always been people within the artistic community who have spoken out about things they believe in and they should continue to do so. I shall certainly continue to do so, whether it has any effect or not, because I feel I have a responsibility to myself to do that.”

After naming a litany of corporations in one verse of “To Kill the Child,” Waters sings, “Our standard of living, could this be a reason / That we would choose to kill the child.” In the next verse, a list of religious texts and foods is followed by the refrain, “Is it dogma, doughnuts, ridicule faith / Fear of the dark, or shame or disgrace / That we would choose to kill the child.”

In the whispered verses of “Leaving Beirut,” the song’s narrator recounts the generosity of a desert stranger and his family. In the soaring choruses, Waters berates President Bush for spearheading a war, singing, “Oh George! Oh George! That Texas education must have f***ed you up when you were very small.”

Later in the song, U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair is the target: “Not in my name, Tony, you great war leader you / Terror is still terror, whosoever gets to frame the rules.”

Waters co-produced the new cuts with longtime compatriot Nick Griffiths, who also engineered the tracks. Joining him in the studio were guitarist Andy Fairweather-Low, drummer Graham Broad and vocalists Katie Kissoon, PP Arnold and Carol Kenyon. In addition to vocals, Waters contributes guitar, bass and keyboards to the songs.

“To Kill The Child” and “Leaving Beirut” have been available for streaming on Waters’ official Web site, since Friday. Beginning today, they are on sale at through iTunes, SonyConnect, Napster, and other digital stores.

It has been more than a decade since Waters’ last solo album of original material, 1992’s Columbia set “Amused To Death.” In 2002, he contributed a demo of “Flickering Flame” and a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” to the internationally released compilation of his post-Floyd career, “Flickering Flame: The Solo Years, Vol. 1.”


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