A Noiseless Flash


  Doves fly over Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on the 70th anniversary of the atomic bomb attack.

Doves fly over Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on the 70th anniversary of the atomic bomb attack.

When I was about ten years old I was on a family holiday. One evening my mother and sisters had chosen a restaurant for us all to go to, but my father announced, "you girls go to dinner, me and the wee man are gonna watch a documentary." That documentary was about the bombing of Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945. Images from this documentary were burned on the brain of that young boy and have served to shape my politics and ideologies as I have grown into a man.

This song, for whatever it is worth, is my small tribute to the victims of what was, in my opinion, one of the greatest crimes ever committed by mankind. 

The title, A Noiseless Flash, comes from John Hersey's journalistic piece of 1946 entitled Hiroshima, a remarkable piece of writing which sought to humanise the event by following the stories of six survivors of the bomb. One incredible detail of every survivor's account of the event is that none of them heard a bang. The flash of the bomb was so intense that all senses were for a few moments obliterated. 

This song takes place within that flash, and is sung from the perspective of its victims, who, in that moment of what I imagine death to be, when they are liberated from the material of this world, taking their first step beyond and towards the next, be it Heaven, Valhalla, the collective consciousness or whatever interpretation, they look back to all they leave behind, and see nothing... but love.

Now you know... we feel, we love we think.  About our place in this world, the people we have known.  Is there a God?  Can we find peace in this life?  Questions we all have asked.
So tell me, was I worth your borders?  Was I worth your kings?  Was I worth your soil, your deluded dream?  Was I worth the tension?  Was I worth this fear?  Separated by waters, was I worth it all?
One step beyond, before the sun, my heart is young.  My pain is gone, my soul is born, all hate is torn into a single word.  In a noiseless flash as I gaze back to all I leave behind.  In a noiseless flash all future, present, past bleed into one.  And I see... I see... I see... love.