Sunday, April 28, 2013

Tears in Garments from Bangladesh

The heartbreaking image above is from The Daily Star. A sister crying over the photo of her brother who is trapped in that collapsed building at the Rana Plaza in Savar, Bangladesh. This is the day five after that collapse, killing hundreds of workers and injuring many. The total number of casualties is still unknown as many more are feared to be trapped underneath the piles of concretes of the collapsed building. 

Every day the hopes for finding more survivors are diminishing. Miracles do happen, and some are still getting rescued because of some heroic and tireless rescue efforts. The relatives, standing near, holding their loved one's photos in outstretched hands, looking toward the rubble, a live tomb, where many garments workers died for the sole reason of complete indifference toward workers' basic human rights for a safe work environment. Was it too much to ask for? 

Garments workers in Bangladesh get one of the lowest wages in the entire world. This unfortunate fact is also one of the reasons Bangladesh is competitive, and is now one of the largest manufacturers of garments in the world. But the disparity between what the workers get in Bangladesh, and the other nations is striking. 

Per a table showing in Wikipedia all the minimum wages by country, the workers' minimum wage in Bangladesh is 11 cents an hour, that is $220 per year. Even a discount store if one visits, like the other day I observed at Walmart that one of the marked down prices of a shirt made in Bangladesh was $10.00. I do not have the data on how long a skilled garments worker take to manufacture a shirt, but the difference between ten dollars and eleven cents seemed to me simply mind blowing. For a discounted shirt of $10.00, for example, if an average worker takes about 3 hours to make a shirt (a generous number of hours it seems), then the worker gets mere 33 cents for her or his 3 hours long efforts. Subtracting 33 cents from ten dollar still leaves $9.70 per discounted shirt. Applying simple statistics in this crude example, a garment worker earns 3% from a $10.00 shirt, and the garments owners and the sellers combined make 97% of the revenue earned. 

Of course there are cost involved in any business. Even applying all kinds of business costs, it does not seem 3% earning is fair for an average garments worker in Bangladesh for this hypothetical example where the price of a shirt was $10.00. In many cases, the price of a shirt is way more than $10.00. The price range can be anywhere between $15 to $100 or more. In those cases, for store like GAP, Sears, Bay and many other similar ones, the ratio of a garments worker's earning to the price of a shirt will be much lower than a heavily discounted shirt. 

It is true that many millions of impoverished Bangladeshi women and men were and are given new hopes and better livelihood through these jobs in garments sector. About 80% of exports earnings of Bangladesh is from its garments industries that has huge impact on its GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Then a question may arise naturally as to why such a vital industry's workers are not given their basic rights to have a safe work place? Garments workers are getting the lowest comparative wages and from time to time are getting burnt or crushed to death. It is indeed a rotten deal at the best. 

In my previous writing on this very subject a few days ago I asked a few questions. Mainly, why would the government of Bangladesh not take the necessary steps to protect its garments and other workers who are the vital source of its economy's longevity? Why is it that the owner of this particular collapsed building Rana Plaza is a member of the ruling party, and only a few days ago, even after the building collapse was boastfully travelling in a car with his hoodlum cadres? Is it possible for a grade 8 failed student amassing such wealth and power without the direct complicity of the ruling party? Where are the real culprits, the large gigantic sharks, who repeatedly use Rana and other muscle-man thugs like cadres to preserve the lucrative power? Not only the ruling Awami League, the opposition BNP too depend on these goons and criminals to survive and thrive in polluted political environment of Bangladesh. 

Who will come forward to demand the workers' rights? The glimpse of hopefulness that Shahbag's protest movement had shown in February, seems to be fizzled out in the end by not being more inclusive, and for only demanding punishment for crimes committed in the brutal war of 1971. One laughable quotation I can still remember from that movement was something like this: "when there is geography exam, we will study for geography, when there is  math exam, we will study for math", meaning the movement would focus only on one demand, that is the justice of the war criminals. Such a lonesome demand devoid of any practical connections of greater crimes being committed in present days literally in broad day light can hardly be sustainable. Anyone can call himself or herself a progressive, or a movement to be progressive without the slightest bit of notion what progressivism really means. Progressives do not live in an island where only a single injustice can be focused on, as injustice is rarely alone, it has its roots, sprouted branches and leaves, like the giant trees and expanding forests, where one injustice festers another, interlinking many more in seemingly an overwhelming dominating force to reckon with. The collapsed building in Bangladesh, the sheer indifference of the building and the garments owners is only a small puzzle piece in the reckless adventures of riotous life wreckers. 

Tearful agony of this sister crying over her buried brother's photo near the collapsed building is heartfelt and her and other like hers pain have touched hearts of many, near and far. Murmurs of discontents on the shabby political system of Bangladesh that most possibly has direct or indirect links for the causes of so many innocent life lost in this tragic collapse can be heard in office corridors or the cafeteria in the western nations. This will create pressure points, and quite possibly the right pressure points, that may fasten the most needed collapse of the rotten political system in Bangladesh, and from this rubble, from the tears and agonies of dead and the livings, perhaps the very needed political reformation steps will at last materialize, truncating the sprouted branches and leaves of corruptions, and preserving the core human rights of the trampled workers.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tragedies in Bangladesh - a Forewarning

This tragedy in Bangladesh is incomprehensible to me. Collapsed building. Possibly many hundreds poor workers died. Women, children and men. There was clear warning. Even a bank's branch in the same building told their employees not to go to work in that fateful day. But for the garments workers, the warning didn't matter, the owner of the building looked like colluded with the owners of the garments factories and forced their impoverished employees to come to work in that cracked building, that collapsed and killed and injured many. 

Why this type of tragedy gets repeated in Bangladesh? Only a few months ago, another devastating incident happened, when another garments factory burnt down, and more than a hundred of their employees perished, some of their bodies charred to beyond recognition. 

Is it only the faults of the garments owners? Does the government of Bangladesh share any responsibility? Why wouldn't there be strict enforcement of already existing regulations on safety and hazards in industrial settings? How do the garments owners keep making the same costly mistakes without fearing any consequences? 

Garments in Bangladesh is important for its economic growth. It is true that a large segment of the impoverished population gets lifted out of the dire poverty to a better life and livelihood. The lower cost of the manufactured products that Bangladesh can provide gives it the competitive advantages than its eager competitors in the region and beyond. But this momentary competitive advantages may not remain advantageous for long if the big corporations from the wealthy nations start taking this type of human tragedy and its implicit cost into their ledger equations that surely they should do on the humanitarian ground. This is only a matter of time. There are already political pressures in the West on respective corporations to rethink sending garments orders to Bangladesh. Supply and demand will play its part, but these extraneous pressures will nudge the equilibrium point to somewhere else in the end, that will slow down the economic growth in Bangladesh, affecting millions of poor workers whose livelihood depends on these garments factories. 

A truly effective leadership is needed in Bangladesh that is not engaged in an endless squabbles (family feuds?) with its equally quarrelsome oppositions. Ruling and the opposition parties are for the people, but how much do they really do for solving the real problems of vast majority of people? A nation cannot function in any proper way if the governance becomes a hobbled shamble in the midst of the repeated vengeance among the political elites and their hired goons. A sincere truce is an urgent necessity. It's good to see that the economically counterproductive strikes were withdrawn by the opposition parties in the face of this tragic collapse of a building and deaths of people that could have been easily prevented only if the saner decisions were made not to send the workers to that death trap. This whole painful situation wound't be arising if the government of Bangladesh took the proactive actions making sure that the building codes, safety and hazards regulations were enforced in time. 

In the hindsight, many things can be said, many conjectures can be made. But the truth of the matter is that this incomprehensible tragedies should be a forewarning for all the decision makers in Bangladesh. Time is indeed running out for preserving the competitive edges. For each heartbreaking agony, dusty face and the ornamented limb of the dead bring shame, as it should, and it can also potentially bring more disastrous consequences for millions many losing their livelihood if garments factories start collapsing in the economic front too.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Coffee Houser Sei Addata – a Nostalgic Song of Manna Dey – Transient Moments

A very old song from Manna Dey, the legendary Bengali singer, “Coffee Houser Sei Addata Aaj ar Nei” – meaning, “That hangout in the coffee house is no more” – is such a melancholic and nostalgic song that the listeners, the lovers of this timeless song can easily get completely immersed with the vivid images that the lyrics describe, the life of old friends, the successful ones, and the ones whose poems never get published, and the one whom the life has not forgiven, who is dying from cancer, and the editor of a newspaper, and his critiques, the debates of poets and their poetry, the artist who used to draw for an advertising firm, and his silent admirer, these are all lyrically sung by Manna Dey, a singer who is undoubtedly remain in the highest respectable place in listeners’ hearts.

This is a song of life and its transient moments of happiness, fleeting and temporary, seems too short of a life, the forgotten and the faded faces of long lost friends, scattered around, some lost in the depth of oblivion, some lost in the whirlwind of chaos, but that Coffee House still remains intact, where new laughter emerge from the new faces, new gossips, new ages, drinking coffee, as did the singer before in his time with his beloved friends who are all long gone, far away.

Enjoy your drink, and reminisce, and of course cherish every blessings of this life, evanescent and never permanent. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Deja Vu

[This is my Toastmasters speech that I delivered earlier today, April 18, 2013 at my local club]

Do you have that eerie déjà vu feeling sometime? Like, don’t I know this or that person from somewhere, but in reality you have met for the first time. Or, you went to a beautiful vacation spot where you have never been before, and you look at the crushing blue waves, its bubbly whitish froths and the rising sun peaking from the glowing horizon, and suddenly you remember being in that very spot, standing on the soft sands, but actually this was the first time you have visited this particular sea beach.

I find these déjà vu feeling fascinating. What is the reason of it? Is it some kind of trick that our curious mind plays on us? Is it the manifestation of brain’s synaptic circuitry’s random spike? Or is there a deeper reason behind it? Is it a glimpse of a past life, and possibly this reincarnated life has a flash from that forgotten memory?

I was watching the first season episode from a TV series called Fringe last night. In this particular episode, the FBI agent Olivia Dunham, jumps between two realities, one is her current one, and the other one is the alternative reality. The superbly genius scientist explained that in our life every action that we take it has other possibilities. An action we take, and an alternative action we could have taken creates branches in our universe, that is in some other realities, I am delivering a different speech, or even I might not have this very existence.

I found this notion quite captivating. It made sense to me. Think about the major world religions that talk about human being having the free will. We decide on every moment of our life which path to take, and which to discard without hesitation. Do I partake in the killing of animals and fish, eating their fleshes? Or do I select a different, more peaceful and sensible path? Do I voice my opinions and protest in the face of injustice, or do I act like a hopeless coward with heartless indifference? Do I work ethically and responsibly with compassion, or do I become an unethical and ruthless maniac? The choice is entirely my, but the consequences are deep and felt throughout the ages, cultures and generations.

Could the alternate realities and the déjà vu be someway related? Freudian or the Non-Freudian psychologists may have their never ending debates analyzing the root causes of these perplexing phenomena, but a simple and perhaps naive person like me, it is a good feeling realizing that perhaps other parallel realities exist, just beyond our wakeful consciousness, where different possibilities have a more democratic and just world where poverty is indeed kept in the museum, and war mongers and violence seekers’ depravity can only be read in dusty history books.

If you have that déjà vu feelings sometime, as I do in some random occasions, may be you will see things and the world a bit differently now, pondering what could have been, and what you, I and all of us still could do and achieve in our existence filled with infinite possibilities. What a wonderfully mysterious universe we all are part of! 

Long live Déjà vu!


[This is a Toastmasters speech that I delivered last month, March 2013 at my local club]

I woke up this morning feeling groggy. Slight weakness I felt while dragging my sleepy feet doing my morning chores getting prepared to come to work like any other days. Maybe you have gone through one of these sleepy head morning yourself dear Toastmasters when your body would like to go back to bed in the warm comfort of a comforter and snuggled to your loved one, but your alarmed mind would snap back at you for that foolish desire to take the extra nap in the morning of a busy weekday. Wishful thinking, huh!

The main reason that a person can feel sleepy in the morning is not having enough sleep the previous night because of being immersed in a donkey party or staying awake watching late night comedy show in TV. The current scientific research from respected scholars suggests that a healthy human being needs between 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. A baby sleeps much more than that, and when you reach a certain age like 60s or 70s or more, the number of hours a person can sleep generally decreases, but I understand there can be exceptions to this rule.

What happens when quality sleep is missing from a person’s life? Some of the effects can be quite obvious. For example, you may forget to turn on your right turn signal at a busy road crossing like the driver just before me this morning did, causing me to press hard on brake and stopping the car a few inches away from the suspected sleepy head. Or like about 15 minutes later the same morning, when I proved to be the sleepy bony head too, and almost hit a car by failing to interpret the oncoming car’s truest intention taking a left turn. I felt lucky both time. I or the other driver did not become one of the statistics in accident registers saved somewhere in Police or traffic division.

Almost every morning on my drive to work or returning to home, I see multiple accidents, some of them severe, on Deerfoot Trail, flashing cops car, emergency vehicles surrounding one or two or even more cars that collided, their bonnets shriveled like a mere tin can, glass windows shattered on the road, and frantic and blaring alarm sound of rushing ambulance to help the drivers or the passengers of the damaged vehicles are disturbing imageries. Scary scenes indeed, while these accidents create the very ordinary looking long lines of furious cars on a busy roadway, taking away valuable time from people’s lives spending in traffic jam as if there is nothing better to do.

Car accidents are not the only devastating impacts that lack of sleep can have on human beings. It can negatively affect a person’s concentration span. Yes, caffeine loaded coffee or black tea can surely help temporarily, but the caffeine has its own problem that is better to left for another discussion, but it is suffice to say that any temporary measure to remove the sleepy head has negative health consequences in the long run.

One alarming news came to my attention recently through BBC online that states that having less amount of sleep than the prescribed 7 to 8 hours per night affect human heart as the heart does not get to its resting pace that needs, and in the long run it weakens the hurt muscles and contribute into heart disease and other ailments.

So, what are the steps we can take to assure a restful sleep? A few of them I find useful are:
  • Do regular cardio vascular exercise, like running, jogging or walking
  • Don’t exercise at least two hours before sleep
  • Don’t overeat during dinner
  • Turning off all digital devices when nap time approaches
  • Keeping a regular sleeping pattern, like setting a time at night for going to bed
These are my personal findings but these steps can help you too. I know all of these rules by heart, but hey, I am a human being full of frailty and contradictions like most mortals. So, in many nights I forget my own rules, and stay awake for the silliest reason you can imagine, like last night, watching old episodes of Star Trek Enterprise at Netflix, not one, but two full episodes, the battles between 22nd century’s human space explorers and exotic aliens like Xindi or Kleon from faraway planets, time travelling, Vulcan’s desperate attempts to humor kept my mind occupied well past my set bed time, and even when I went to bed, I could not fall in sleep right away, and did not have a quality sleep I needed. And that was the reason I was groggy early this morning with slightly dizzying head, sleepy eyes, and driving a car in wintry condition among many more like me sleepy heads on a chilly road. Not a good idea, but that’s what life is, full of stupidity that we can easily choose to avoid like a responsible citizenry should do.


[Text from my Toastmasters Speech - Delivered two months ago]

The day before yesterday, I started hearing a buzz noise in my head. Please don’t laugh! This is not a joke. The first time I noticed it, I thought this was an ambient sound in my house. It was late at night. I was about to sleep. I was hearing a slight light pitched humming sound, as if hundreds of bees were swarming and buzzing not too far from me. I switched on my bedside lamp and looked around, really! And there were no bees. I did feel stressed a bit, thinking what was happening to me? What was that noise around or in my head? It took sometime for me to calm down and fall into sleep that night.

When I woke up in another wintry and dark morning, I could still hear the buzzing noise. Before going out to my drive to work through morning rush, I checked the net and searched for the causes of having this condition and found that there are many possibilities. Some of these possibilities are very scary, like brain tumor, neurological disorder, etc., to mild ones, like wax build up in ears or ear infections. Oh my God! That was what exactly I said to myself. There I was, in my prime, planning for all kinds of career moves ahead of time, devising software development and stocks investing strategies using various underlying technologies, wanting to relearn piano and keyboard, yearning to visit the beautiful Kawai, the second Hawaii island I could not visit in last year’s Mawii vacation, and planning for extending my family.

Somewhere I heard once that man dreams and God laughs. All my meticulous planning, scheduling, budgeting, devising looked meaningless at that point in the morning as I was driving through the regular heavy traffic in Deerfoot Trail South. All the political and the entertainment news flashing through my iPhone apps seemed like pointless. I thought, this is it then. I never thought I was immortal, but never accepted that the end can be so early and so horridly possible.

Dear Toastmasters. You may think that I am overreacting. I say, yes I am. I am overreacting to the remotest possibility of dying. I am overreacting to an unpleasant outcome, and unknown afterwards. Will there be a heaven or a hell? Will there be a benevolent and all loving God, waiting for me after the spiraling and the lightened tunnel or will there be an incomprehensible non existence? What will happen to my loved ones? Will the insurance and banks give hard time to them after I am gone? How would my loving family feel? These and many other questions ran through my mind in that otherwise monotonous drive to work that morning.

I made an appointment to see my very busy doctor in later part of today, and hope to know what is the cause of this buzzing sound. Maybe, it will be nothing serious. Or, perhaps it will be something drastic and heartbreaking. I don’t know yet. But this is what I know, these invisible bees, the buzzing have changed something in me that is making me look at my known world in a different light already. It has raised the questions of what is important in life, and what is not. It has started making these precious moments that I take for so granted, as real precious, and not so infinite.

[Note: Later it was found that the stubborn wax in ears was acting as the sound of "bees".]

Sunday, April 07, 2013

We Are One Species

Iain Banks’s writing is not familiar to me. A few days ago, from a BBC news article I came to know about his terminal cancer. So sad that news was! Only 59 years old. The Times mentioned him in their 2008 list “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”. Per Wiki he wrote 26 novels and is apparently to publish his last novel this year.

I have read a second article today in The Guardian, and the writer is Iain Banks. This article was extracted from an earlier essay the writer wrote as “Our People” in 2010 in a book titled “Generation Palestine: Voices from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement”.

I find that it is not easy to write anything about the mess both Palestinians and Israelis are in for many decades. I’d written some articles before, denouncing both the bloody terrorism and disproportionate responses and meaningless provocations from both sides. These days I am hesitant to write anything more on this painful subject, as so many essays, books and fine analysis written about this problem, by so many brilliant and thoughtful writers around the world, including humanists from Israel and Palestine, one more writing seems to me would not change the wrecking course of this runaway disaster.

This morning, Iain Banks’ writing in The Guardian has helped me changing my mind. Why would I not write? Is it only for not adding another article in the vast expanse of expanding Internet that perhaps not many people read anyways? Or is it for outright fear? The fear of getting maligned or worse, for expressing thoughts in support of millions of vulnerable people in a faraway land? Iain Banks did not fear to write for what he believed to be the truth. Nor did countless many during and after the Second World War, describing inhumanity of The Holocaust, the agonies, buried tears of millions of tortured and gassed human beings only because of their ethnicity or religion.

Some say and wag their naysaying fingers for not to meddle with the painful subjects of history. But, I say, how do human beings can progress to greater, matured and peaceful enlightenment unless taking the lessons from history, refreshing the forgetting memories, so that the similar genocides will not repeat? The answer I believe is self-evident. Human beings’ progression to a greater civilization where wars, violence and naked or subtle hatred will only be described in books of history or museums is possible, but not without our collective and individual struggles.
Here is an extract from Iain Banks’ article that summarizes everything that need to be known about injustice:

“The solution to the dispossession and persecution of one people can never be to dispossess and persecute another. When we do this, or participate in this, or even just allow this to happen without criticism or resistance, we only help ensure further injustice, oppression, intolerance, cruelty and violence in the future.
We may see ourselves as many tribes, but we are one species, and in failing to speak out against injustices inflicted on some of our number and doing what we can to combat those without piling further wrongs on earlier ones, we are effectively collectively punishing ourselves.”
Voluminous texts are written in the field of human psychology or social anthropology, however, why injustices are still rampant in this supposedly more progressive 21st century? It is still shameful, oh yes, I am also involved in this shameful cowardice and uncaring attitude,  and indeed it is utterly appalling for us the so called master of our “free wills”, taking our eyes and ears away from the tears, screamed agonies of our fellow beings.
If you read Iain Bank’s words carefully, you will see his loud emphasis on the following: “we are one species, and in failing to speak out against injustices inflicted on some of our number and doing what we can to combat those without piling further wrongs on earlier ones, we are effectively collectively punishing ourselves.”

We are punishing ourselves, and condemning our future generations to do the same, and contributing in the degradation of human progression back toward shadowy ages I believe no modern human beings would like to turn back to.

Palestinians’ and Israelis’ painful saga is one mere example. In addition to other wrongful wrecks that are ongoing, like in brutal civil war in Syria, never ending violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, theocratic Iran, puzzling North Korea and its starving population where a despot ruler threatens the world with nuclear toys, Pakistan’s dubious killings, the heartless drones, extra judicial killings of innocent children, women and men, not only in the troubled regions we all know about, but also in relatively stable places like Bangladesh, Burma, India, Philippines, etc., do not bode well toward a peaceful world.

One example I will elaborate is Bangladesh where the entire nation seems to be slowly moving toward more violence, pitting opposing factions against each other by possibly clever political ploys. Iain Banks’ warning can easily be applied to Bangladesh. The recent arrests of bloggers is a troubling sign. Why would a democratic government arrest anyone for simply expressing their opinions? Should a democratic nation discard its sacred promise to protect humanity and preserve equality for all to please the fanatical demands of any factions? What the heck a blasphemy law means anyway? One man’s religious belief or lack of belief may not align with another, but does that mean he or she needs to be subjugated by the thumb down majority rule?

The problem in Bangladesh is that both the ruling and the opposition parties have lost people’s trust in them because of their past utter dishonesty, corruption and for using violence and deception to achieve political goals. This has created a dangerous vacuum, where the two diametrically opposing elements, the religionists supported by the reactionary parties like Jamaat and BNP, and the so called progressive and the liberal left initially pampered by the ruling party Awami League are at each other’s throat, like two ferocious warriors fighting over their precious claim on the mismanaged nation. Without solving the core of the problem that the writer Iain Banks so eloquently written for injustices occurring in another place this will remain unresolved. Only by stopping our collective punishment, by not piling one wrong over another in the name of camouflaged revenge and counter revenge, this odorous nastiness in Bangladesh can be solved and people’s trust on their elected government and opposition can be re-established.

Jim Holt, the writer of “Why Does the World Exist”, presented some inquisitive questions in his pleasantly readable book. What stuck to my mind reading it, is that the feeling that possibly other human beings and maybe other species grasp from time to time, and it is that eureka moment, when one understands how lucky one is to be alive at all, in this probabilistically random world, in a solar system residing in a lonely corner of a vast galaxy containing 200 to 400 billion stars, that is itself part of an expanding universe with possibly more than 100 billion galaxies of various sizes, and perhaps, this incomprehensibly gigantic universe is part of a more intricate complex systems of multi verses, for which the origin and the end is still widely debated.

Our existence in this world, how miniscule it may seem in the overall scheme of the universe and beyond, does not have to be meaningless. We are one species, human or non-human, in this timeline, inherited the past history of triumphs and failures from our buried predecessors. The finiteness of our brief existence in this universal randomness or perhaps pre-ordained fate, is linked with each one of us. The same is true for our actions, inactions, caring and uncaring in front of struggles to achieving fairness for all.

Here is a poem of Allen Ginsberg “Gone Gone Gone” who understood life and its meaning like Iain Banks:

“Gone Gone Gone”
“The wan moon is sinking under the white wave and time is sinking with me, O!”
–Robert Burns

yes it’s gone gone gone
gone gone away
yes it’s gone gone gone
gone gone away
yes it’s gone gone gone
gone gone away
yes it’s gone gone gone
it’s all gone away
gone gone gone
won’t be back today
gone gone gone
just like yesterday
gone gone gone
isn’t any more
gone to the other shore
gone gone gone
it wasn’t here to stay
yes it’s gone gone gone
all gone out to play
yes it’s gone gone gone
until another day
no one here to pray
gone gone gone
yak your life away
no promise to betray
gone gone gone
somebody else will pay
the national debt no way
gone gone gone
your furniture layaway
plan gone astray
gone gone gone
made hay
gone gone gone
Sunk in Baiae’s Bay
yes it’s gone gone gone
wallet and all you say
gone gone gone
so you can waive your pay
yes it’s gone gone gone
tomorrow’s another day
gone last Saturday
yes it’s gone gone gone
gone gone gone
turned old and gray
yes it’s gone gone gone
bald & old & gay
gone gone gone
whitebeard & cold
yes it’s gone gone gone
cashmere scarf & gold
yes it’s gone gone gone
warp & woof & wold
yes it’s gone gone gone
gone far far away
to the home of the brave
down into the grave
yes it’s gone gone gone
moon beneath the wave
yes it’s gone gone gone
so I end this song
yes this song is gone
gone to kick the gong
yes it’s gone gone gone
No more right & wrong
yes it’s gone gone gone
gone gone away