Moses

from by Ian McFeron

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Moses - Story

In June of 2013 we came off the road and reunited with the band for our regional summer touring in the Pacific Northwest. There was a story in the paper that summer that captivated me. This fellow, Edward Snowden, had leaked documents to the press about a US government surveillance program that was being used to monitor ordinary American citizens as well as leaders of allied nations. It was like something out of a spy movie or some half-baked conspiracy theory except it was really happening. It was straight out of an Orwellian dystopia.

Some people celebrated him for exposing abuse of government. Some people called him a traitor and demanded he be brought back to American soil and tried for betraying his country. Some even said he should be hanged. Our allied nations were giving him awards and prizes while we still had him in the crosshairs. I thought that if he had sparked a global conversation that had people so polarized, engaging so passionately, he must be saying something worth hearing.

I had my coffee one morning and was washing out the mug when my mind drifted back to Snowden. I thought about how you can’t really judge a dissident in their own time. Look at Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Mandela. Some people hated them and they broke laws, but they did what they felt was right. For this we celebrate them as heroes, even if they were villains to some. I wondered if Snowden was a hero or a villain. For some reason I thought about Moses.

You might think I’m crazy for saying so, but it’s really strange the number of parallels there are between Edward Snowden and Moses. They both sought to release a population from a sort of bondage, they both broke laws in civil disobedience, they both ended up on the run, and they both ended up in a “wilderness of wandering” of sorts- Moses out in the Sinai desert and Snowden stuck in Russia in geopolitical limbo. They both traded a life of privilege for one of hardship in pursuit of truth. I started thinking, “what is so dangerous about American citizens having this knowledge? What is really going on that the government is so afraid of?”

I thought about the sacrifice it took to do what Snowden did. The life he threw away to deliver this single blow. The burdens he took on to tell us what was going on in our government.

I wrote this song about Moses and I wondered, “Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?”

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lyrics

Moses - Lyrics

Well, Moses Moses I been thinkin’ of you
Movin’ through the empire in disguise
They slap you on the back they tried to claim you
They did not know the contents of your mind

Until you saw violence raining down on a stranger
You could not keep up the charade
You made a move and cut down that perpetrator
You killed a man in a fit of rage

You have been a stranger livin’ in a foreign land
You have felt the hammer of the devil’s heavy hand
Wanderin’ through the desert, sifting through the sand
Did you ever see the Promised Land?

Now Moses Moses if you’d had more time to choose
Would you have just kept livin’ underground?
Because judgment comes down heavy on those exposing truth
Truth that shatters the head that wears the crown

You become a stranger livin’ in a foreign land
You will feel the hammer of the devil’s heavy hand
Wanderin’ through the desert, sifting through the sand
Will you ever see the Promised Land?

How did you keep yourself together?
And will it make you a better man?
Or will it only bring you trouble
Keepin’ your heart set on the Promised Land?

Well, Moses Moses I been missin’ you
Seeing the rich man steal from the pockets of the poor
So tell me will God send down another who is like you
To lead these broken hungry men back out to war

We have become strangers livin’ in a foreign land
We have felt the hammer of the devil’s heavy hand
Wanderin’ through the desert, sifting through the sand
Will we ever see the Promised Land?

Moses Moses
Moses Moses

credits

from Radio, released February 27, 2015

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about

Ian McFeron Seattle, Washington

Ian McFeron’s writing has been compared to Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Ryan Adams. Over the course of a decade-long independent music career, he has attracted media attention stretching across the Atlantic. He currently tours in support of his 7th album Time Will Take You, recorded in Nashville with members of Ryan Adams band The Cardinals as well as Patty Griffin and John Hiatt’s touring bands. ... more

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