“The Front Line”

12/77

The Front Line
In Ballad And Thought

It wasn’t so long ago, in the heat of the day
That our enemies came to take our freedom away
Shots were fired, so we ran to the forest and formed a line
From right to left, and all around, as far as the eyes could see
With cut-lesses in our hand, there we stood,
Watching and waiting to greet our enemies
So it was our same old adversaries from the land of KKK
Who just couldn’t seem to leave us alone
They’ve come all the way from the USA
Thinking they’re gonna frighten us into going back home

Yes our enemies had gathered themselves
together and conspired to take our freedom away
How could they explain our leaving. What would they say
When it was discovered that this great rainbow family, the family of Jim Jones
Had told Amerikka good-by, and headed for a land of their own

We this great rainbow family of Jones
Were not satisfied, were sick and tired of being denied freedom justice and equality
And having to endure the rascism and rejection and poverty in your capitalistic society

We didn’t like your country, we didn’t like your laws
We were tired of being treated no better than dogs

We didn’t like the conditions in which we had to live. We didn’t like having our people tortured and killed
We did like your treachery, we didn’t trust your lies. And we didn’t want to see our families be a part of your mass genocide

So we, this great rainbow family of Jones

Gave you your country, and got a land of our own. We were freed from your shackles by our leader Jim Jones.

When he gave us Jonestown, Guyana as our new-found home.

It was his desire to give his people a chance to be happy, a chance to be free
And to give our children the right to live free of the pain created by your capitalist society
This is ours, we are here to stay, were committed to the socialist life, because it’s the only way

On my own land, proud and free. And nobody is going to take my freedom from me
I’ve come here to learn to love, share and build
And if I can’t do this, I don’t want to live!

So with cut-lesses in hand we had formed a line
As far as the eyes could see
Our enemies were out there [illegible word] from afar
Wondering how far we would go to stay free

We won’t go back, we won’t give in. This is our home in which we’re ready to defend
We dare you to test us by coming in our mist [midst]
We’re not afraid, we’re socialists!

We stood on the line on into the night. As the rain poured down upon us
We sat starring [staring] into the darkness of night
Listening intensely to the faintest sounds
The baboons far off in the jungle could feel the danger around us
And they gathered themselves together in song… that took away the stillness

We sat there and whispered, soaked through and through. The excitement left little room for fear or dread. And later the ground below us became our bed
And in the early morning hours, but while it was not yet day. We were awaken[ed] by the sounds of shots

And as we stood in readiness we heard our leader say
This country is being taken over by the CIA
And the leaders of this country cannot be found
And we know very little of what’s really going down.
Our enemies have been out there day and night
And it looks as though we may have to fight
We’re gonna have to stand up for what we believe
It’s the only way, if we want to stay free.

Our leader paused for a moment and began to say
I’m sorry that your new life had to begin this way
I did not bring you here to die. To give you freedom and happiness was my desire
But the price of these things is never cheap
A true socialist will gladly die for what he believes

And in the mid-morning hours of the 2nd day
Again our leader conveyed his love, his regret,
And the price we all might have to pay
Our enemies were all around us. Our friends in government could not be found
Had the socialist leaders betrayed us
Is there no one in whom we can trust?

Again and again we heard our leader say

Between his never-ending battles of fighting… fighting the pain, the pressure… the pain of fighting the enemy for our lives, fighting the enemy to keep us free

Fighting the enemy from all sides… fighting to give us peace
Had the leaders of this country sold out to the enemy
Why had they picked this time to leave
Did they not care that our leader was fighting day and night to keep us alive
And on this socialist land we might have to die

And as we stayed there on the line into the day
Waiting and watching for our enemy to show his face
Our leader demanded we feast there on the line
Eat all that you can, the best of all we have
Enjoy these last hours as much as you can
Because at any moment we might have to die

Our enemies were all around us, and our friends could not be found
Our enemies are coming to try to take us away
But we’ll make this land our burying ground

And as we sat there, waiting to die
We looked up and saw our leader dragging himself down the line
With a smile on his lips and tears in his eyes
One by one he touched us, and bade us what we knew to be our last good-by

You don’t have to worry, Father, you don’t have to cry
We’re not afraid, we are ready to die
If we must die, then let it be. For death is but a sweet release
You don’t have to worry, you don’t have to cry
Because it matters not if we should die
For we’ve known how it feels to be black and free
Nobody here is looking down on me
For once in my life, I’m not being treated nigerly. No rascist capitalists running no games on me
Don’t have to pretend to be something I don’t want to be. I can be happy just being me

And we watched our leader drag himself on down the line
To convey his love, sorrow, and hoping that we might understand that there might not be a tomorrow. No, tomorrow might never come

So with a smile on his lips, and tears in his eyes, one by one, he bade us good-by
Our children lay sleeping, prepared to die

Without the pain, fear, or sorrow. They would be spared from the torture… the never ending [illegible word]

Without their Father what would they be
To die free of pain would be a sweet release

And our youth, so courageous, proud independent and free
They have finally known the joy of being treated with dignity

Nobody here gets beaten and jailed for stealing a loaf of bread. Nobody here strips you of your dignity until you feel you’d be better off dead.
And our seniors – our mothers and fathers who have suffered so much who had spent their lives just fighting for survival in a rascist country

A country that used them, abused them, and kicked them in the streets to die alone

And as our leader bade them farewell
What were they thinking that made it so easy for them to not give a dam [damn]!

Jim Crow days and the KKK! The lynchings the mobbings, the killings the starvings of the poor, the oppressed in the USA

No Father, you don’t have to worry, you don’t have to cry
We identify with some of your hurt and we share your anger
You don’t have to worry, we’re not afraid to die

And Father, our leader… he’s all we have
The only hope we’ve ever known

Without him there would be nothing left. To destroy him would be to destroy all hope for mankind

So like a child, I am with you because you have chosen me
For now I am yours and you are mine

Until I am strong enough to make it on my own forever… or until through death we have to depart

… Until I am strong enough to make it on my own
Because I must become as my Father is to his children… but I am not yet ready

Father… the only hope of the world. The only hope of black and poor people in the land of KKK, in Africa, all over the world. Surely he will return. He is the only hope of the world. But it will be too late. There is no time…
… We are not yet ready and there is no one to take his place. We must not allow the enemy to deprive the world of the only true revolutionary!

We must not allow the enemy to deprive the world of its own hope!

They outnumber us by far. In all of the universe, is there nothing, no one good?!

Is our Father to do it alone? If there were any good forces in the universe, then we would summon you. It is not written in the plans of destiny that this dream that is becoming reality should cease to be!

God… there is no god, there never was a god, there never will be a god for people like us!
Three little children in church one Sunday and as they began to pray
Three little children, little poor, black, hungry children, got blow [blown] away
By a rascist member of the KKK
And God never came

Ain’t no god, but god in me. Ain’t no freedom with the freedom I take… Ain’t no hell but the hell I see … Ain’t no heaven but the heaven I make!

And as I saw my leader come down the line
With a smile on his lips, and tears in his eyes
How it must hurt you, to have to tell us good-by

But you don’t have to worry, I don’t want you to cry. It’s always been my dream to commit revolutionary suicide

If we must die, then let it be. But for you
my enemies, there’ll be no victory
We’re not afraid, as you’ll soon see
Should we die in another minute, we’ll die free
Yes even in death we’ll have the victory. We’ll die revolutionary socialist resisting our enemies
… How soon is it going to be…?

No Father, you don’t have to worry, you don’t have to cry. We’re socialists now, we’re ready to die

The days we’ve spent here have been good days
We’ll have nothing to loose [lose], we’re not afraid

Father… the beginning of life for us… [illegible word] justice of the universe… a mighty fortress
Yes, we’ll make it… at least some of us will…
… So like a child, I must become as my father is to his children
… but I am not yet ready

Father…
Has he come down through so many generations

… has he suffered so much, undergone so many trials, so many tests, so many errors to become a perfected principle … to have evolved into the most high. Has he come all this way to be defeated now?! He cannot die when the fate of the world rests on his shoulder he has yet to shake creation, to turn the world upside down! He cannot die! They must not take our Savior away! He’s all there is, the ultimate of all that is good…

And as we stood there watching our leader drag himself down the line
Giving his people a final touch, a last goodby
Remembering his tears, remembering his pain
Angrily we waited, anxiously anticipating the pleasure of our Father’s suffering being avenged.
And as we sat there waiting… built by the people’s mighty hands

On our land, our very own land… the banana trees, the eddoes so beautiful… so gree [green]… the never-ending field of cut-less beans. Our homes, our buildings

So beautiful, so blessed to be free
They’ve taken away everything I’ve ever had and destroyed everything that I’ve ever loved
How long is it going to last
While fighting for what’s ours ever be a part of our past?!

Our enemies were all around us, and our friends could not be found
They would be coming for us any minute, any hour
And our lives would be spared by no natural [illegible word].

So we sat there on the line, watching the day being overtaken by night
And as we waited for our enemies to come in sight… who would run, surrender, or fight

And as the day was overtaken by night
We paired off in twos as… one was to watch as the other slept
No one was to surrender, or be taken alive
And if your comrad [comrade] should decide to run
Let your cut-less tell him goodby

Just thinking of the torture you’ll have to go through. You can’t trust your enemy they’ll only use you

We’ll take your life comrad, because we love you.

Shots were fired throughout the night
But our enemies never came into our sight
Why didn’t they show themselves, we’re not afraid
We tired, we’re angry, and quite willing to make this land our grave.

But even in these dark, dark, hours
Our Father, our leader never gave up hope
Even when we knew we wanted to be spared by no earthly power
Our leader… his body was filled with agonizing pain and emotional stress
His body was tired and weary from emotional stress… the fighting spirit remained

And in the early morning hours of the 3rd day
We listened intently as we heard our leaders say
As he spoke to socialist countries around the world
We’re in this socialist country fighting for our lives
And at any time we might have to die
We heard him beg, we heard him plea
We heard him offer his life, to keep his people free

To socialists, communists, friends and strangers
We heard him beg, we heard him plea
And in a fit of rage he cursed in anger
Take me if you will, but let my people be
I did not bring them here to die. To give them life is my desire

And as we sat there on the line quietly
eating our early morning feast
We heard our leader plea for a little more time
Time to find a refuge for us. Time to find a safe place for us
A place where we could be at peace

Over and over we heard him cry. I do not
Want to see my people die
We’re not a poor people, we have much to give
Just give my people a chance to live

Over and over and on into the night. We heard our leader’s tired weary voice, his body racked with agonizing pain and emotional stress

Over and over we heard him beg, we heard him plea
Give my people sanctuary, or give them peace
The pain in his voice was unbearable
The plea in his voice was unforgettable
His love and devotion to us was uncomparable [incomparable]

Our enemies were tightly surrounding us
Our friends had forsaken us
Our leader’s plea for the most part remain unheard
And we sat there waiting for the curtain to fall
There was nothing we could do but wait, and so little we could say
But seeing our leader’s pain, and remembering his plea
Made us really know and understand that his only reason for being was to set his people free

Our enemies were surrounding us
Our leader’s plea for the most part had remained unheard
All of our friends have forsaken us
And we sat there waiting for the curtain to fall

Where were the ones who have proclaimed themselves socialists? Surely they know we were out here standing on the line

Waiting to die at any time

Because we had dared to stand, dared to fight. For principle that had been tested and proven to be right
We too had denounced the right for the left, and a fight for this choice is a fight to the death!

Where have all the socialists gone? Have they no principle, have they no back-bone?
Are we to stand here and die alone?

Yes, even those who were considered our comrads had decided we should die alone
Did they know so little of our leader Jim Jones
His love, loyalty and devotion for his people they didn’t understand
How many battles would he have to win, how many obstacles would he have to overcome
Before they realized he was no ordinary man

To betray his people, he was offered money, riches and land
But he could have all these things just by a clap of his hands
To sell out his people he’s been offered the greatest of material wealth in the highest of power
But he could have the world at his feet in a matter of hours

We’ll give you refuge for your family
Why sacrifice their lives to keep others free
You brought them here to a new home
Protected and cared for them as though they were your own
You’ve given them a new life in a socialist land
How much can they expect from just a man?

Free yourself of them, and let them be
Think of your wife and family
Leave them now, why should it bother you if they don’t understand
You owe them nothing
And after all, you’re only a man

How many times has he passed this way before
How many times have temptation knocked on his door

Socialists, or communists, or whatever you may be. Why is it so hard to understand his love for humanity?

How long will you question the principle on whi [which] he stands
How long before you realize he[‘s] no ordinary man
His love and loyalty is no mystery
Because he’s a communist revolutionary in the highest degree

He couldn’t be bought, and he couldn’t be used
He had paid the price, and owed no dues
Though he was pushed… sell them out, leave them, save your family…
He would not be moved!

And as we sat there on the line
the torture of waiting was a slow form of dying
The capitalist dogs from the CIA will send
Socialist youth to blow us away
The capitalists dogs, they were afraid
Why would they send innocent people in their stead

So in the middle of the night of the 3rd day
We were summoned together to decide
Should be [we] fight them knowing the bloodshed that will be on both sides?
The enemies were clever, they had the upper hand. Socialists blacks killing socialists blacks
We did not want their blood on our hands

Right or wrong, we were going to die
But our choice by far was revolutionary suicide
It was soon going to be over at last
We stood reminiscing about what was soon to be our past

Our land, our homes, our food. So beautiful is this land of ours
The only place we’ve ever been free. The only place we could ever call home
Is going to be taken and used by our enemy

How many ways can one die. If the choice is revolutionary suicide
Life has been good here, it’s been a good day
But our enemies must not have the victory
They must not have the final say
They will not take my freedom from me
They’ll find my body already blown away

But the hope and will of our leader never ceased to be
That we would die together was not a certainty
It was not his will, that we should die.
To give us life was his desire
We didn’t have to stay here and die
Our leader had found this sanctuary
We would be at peace

And as we prepared again to go it alone
The good socialists leaders came back home
This is your land you don’t have to go
And your enemies will not harass you anymore
Stay here and work, grow, and build
And this land can be yours, for as long as you [illegible word] live

How long would this promise last
How long before the fighting became a thing of our past?
Will always have to fight if we expect to stay free. The price of freedom is never cheap
Until our leader has turned the world upside down
Until the poor and oppressed are no longer on the ground
This never-ending fight will begin at any time. Shots will be fired and we’ll run to the line. Wether [Whether] it be morning, noon, day or night
We’ll be forever united in socialist [illegible word] standing together, ready to fight!

BJW
12/77

Originally posted on May 17th, 2013.

Last modified on August 30th, 2014.
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