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Road To Peace

This song is by Tom Waits and appears on the compilation box set Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards (2007).

Young Abdel Madi Shabneh
Was only eighteen years old
He was the youngest of nine children
He'd never spent a night away from home
And his mother held his photograph
Up in the New York Times
You see, the killing has intensified
Along the road to peace

He was a tall, thin boy with a wispy mustache
Disguised as an Orthodox Jew
On a crowded bus in Jerusalem
Some had survived World War II
And the thunderous explosion
Blew out windows two hundred yards away
With more retribution and seventeen dead
Along the Road to Peace

Now at King George Ave and
Jaffa Road
Passengers boarded bus 14A
In the aisle
Next to the driver
Abdel Madi Shabneh
And the last thing that he said on earth
Is, "God is great and God is good"
And he blew them all to kingdom come
Upon the Road to Peace

In response to this
Another kiss
Of death was visited upon
Yashir Tehah, Israel says, is an Hamas senior militant
And Israel sent 4 choppers in
Flames engulfed his white Opel
And it killed his wife and his 3-year-old child
Leaving only blackened skeletons

They found his toddler's bottle and a pair of small shoes
And they waved them in front of the cameras
But Israel says
They did not know that his wife and child were in the car
There are roadblocks everywhere
And only suffering on TV
Neither side will ever give up
Their smallest right
Along the Road to Peace

Israel launched its latest campaign
Against Hamas on Tuesday
And two days later Hamas shot back
And killed five Israeli soldiers
Though thousands dead and wounded on both sides
Most have been Middle Eastern civilians
They fill their children full of hate
To fight an old man's war
And die upon the Road to Peace

Now, "This is our land
We will fight with all our force"
Say the Palestinians and the Jews
And each side will cut off the hand of anyone
Who tries to stop the Resistance
"If thy right eye offends thee
Then you must pluck it out"
And Mahmoud Abbas and Sharon have been lost
Out along the Road to Peace

Once Kissinger said "We have no friends
America only has interests"
And now our president wants
To be seen as a hero
And he's hungry for re-election
But Bush is reluctant to risk his future
And the fear of his political failure
So he plays chess at his desk
And poses for the press
Ten thousand miles from the Road to Peace

In a video
That they found at the home
Of Abdel Madi Shabneh
He held a Kalashnikov rifle
And he spoke with a voice like a boy
He was an excellent student
He studied so hard
It was as if he had a future
He told his mother that he
Had a test that day
Out along the Road to Peace

The fundamentalists killing
On both sides
Are standing in the path of peace
But tell me why are we arming the Israeli Army
With guns and tanks and bullets?
And if God is great
And God is good
Why can't he change the hearts of men?

Well, maybe God Himself is lost and needs help
Maybe God Himself, He needs all of our help
Maybe God Himself is lost and needs help
He's out upon the road to peace

Maybe God Himself is lost and needs help
Maybe God Himself needs all of our help
And He's lost upon the Road to Peace
He's lost upon the Road to Peace
Out upon the Road to Peace


Written by:

Kathleen Brennan, Tom Waits

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