For me, Boney M’s ‘By The Rivers Of Babylon’ has special associations with musical bumps and musical statues. For others, it has unpleasant associations with Jews.
From the Associated Press:
“Lead singer Maizie Williams said Palestinian concert organizers told her not to sing “Rivers of Babylon.” The song’s chorus quotes from the Book of Psalms, referring to the exiled Jewish people’s yearning to return to the biblical land of Israel.
Palestinians often question the Jewish historical connection to the Holy Land. Organizers said they asked for the song to be skipped, deeming it “inappropriate.””
Yeah that’s right, weird Stalinist Palestinian concert organisers – fingers in ears, sing “La la la” and maybe those Jews will just go away.
An innocent ’70s hit which offends only hateful repressive morons whose rejection of any Jewish connection to the land of Israel eclipses just about everything else – censored. Which is symptomatic of a wider problem in some sections of Palestinian society (including Iman Hamouri of the Popular Art Center, apparently) of rejectionism, not only of Israel but of Jews who want to be close to holy sites in the Middle East.
And it does make you realise that, despite the pressures boycotters pile on artists, there doesn’t seem to be any much corresponding censorship at Israeli gigs. Jonny Rotten claims free rein to make his trouble musically.
I get the impression Boney M aren’t really into these politics but they probably need to be. I hope they perform the song anyway.