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Lately I've been seeing an outrageous escalation of figures from the burning times, now we're up to 9.5 million!  And there seems to be some sort of perverse "we're more persecuted than the Jews" mentality behind it.  Completely ignoring the fact that the burning times killed some large number of people over 4 centuries, where the Nazi Holocaust killed its millions in a matter of 5 YEARS.  Also, I've been pissed off lately by Charlie Murphey's "Burning Times" song, which has propagated the 9 million figure and has in it lines like "The Earth is a Witch/ and the Men still burn Her".  So, in the good old-fashioned tradition of lectures set to music, I offer the following verses.  I need to see how many people they offend before I sing them at Esotericon.

BURNING TIMES

The songs are sung to rouse our anger
Of martyred witches gone to the fire
But what is served by righteous singing
When all we do is stew in our ire?
        Nine million dead in four hundred years
        More in that time simply died of disease.
        Why do we dwell on long-passed dead
        When we are alive in times like these?

cho1:   Rise up, Witches, throw off your masks
        And cease crying guilt for ancient crimes;
        Earth and all her children need us,
        For all face now the Burning Times.

In the face of that hostile power,
How did the old knowledge stay alive?
How do we have a Craft to practise?
Our ancestors knew how to fight and survive!
        How do we honour our blessed dead?
        Slavery threatens all but the few!
        We must teach their cunning ways;
        Everyone needs the skills they knew.

cho:    Rise up, Witches, gather your strength,
        And let your power spread and climb;
        Earth and all her children need us,
        For all face now the Burning Times.

I'll not cast off science's works
Witches all forces to Will can bend.
I'll not accuse, for war and waste,
Some patriarchy of faceless Men.
        Men do not cast the only votes;
        Women alone do not demonstrate.
        Rather than shut out half the race,
        Who, if not we, will change that state?

(cho)

I will not blame a Father's Church --
Blame and guilt are Their tools, not mine.
And even in the shuls and churches
Allies there will I seek and find!
        I will not answer hate with fear;
        Nor with a smug, cheek-turning love;
        I will not answer hate with rage;
        By strength alone will I not be moved!

(cho)

I will not hide in my sacred grove --
The factories and cities yet ring me about.
I will not climb my ivory tower --
The real world exists though I shut it out.
        I will not work for Church nor State
        Who serve themselves while they serve us lies.
        Nor only for my Witchen kin
        But for the family of all alive!

(cho)

So if rebellion means to fight
A State lost sight of why it was built,
If heresy's to reject a Church
That rules with force or fear or guilt,
        Then let us all be rebels proud,
        And shameless heretics by creed!
        A tyrant's hand subjects the Earth
        More heretic rebels are what She needs!

(cho)

copyright 1988, Leigh Ann Hussey