Under the Burning Sun

by Ordovich

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  • The first Redgrass Opera ever. Under the Burning Sun deals with a man immersed in a life of brutality, who, after being delivered from several major crossroads, develops the courage to pave his own utopian existence.

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credits

released 22 December 2010

Written in Brazil during the summer solstice of 2008. Recorded and released in the Pacific Northwest in the year 2010. Under the Burning Sun is dedicated to the workers of the world upon whose backs civilization now stands.

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Ordovich New York, New York

Ordovich is a Composer, Author, & Illustrator of various styles and genres. Born in California, and raised in Saudi Arabia, Arizona, Brazil, & Oregon, he has acquired a style that is worldly and all-encompassing. The themes of his music, literature, & illustrations range from fantasy & humour noir to social affairs. Join Ordovich on facebook.com/OrdovichVonOrdovich for regular news & updates ~ ... more

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Track Name: Overture, the Scarlet Star, No. 1, Op. 7
Narrator: Painters of the galaxy massage their canvas as the colors bleed upon their glorious sky. And as the fiery inferno inches over the horizon, earthly darkness explodes in a crimson spectacle of sheer glory.

Soliloquy:
There's a story that rings true
For him, her, me, and you
It's a tale of a struggle to survive
It's sad but it's true
God only knows how the story all goes
For each woman and man in this crazy old world
Despite our similarities we've got our own destinies
So we keep moving in our separate ways

But what can happen when a poor boy has got no friends of his own? Or when a woman's got a boulder sitting 'top of her shoulders? 'Tis when the story is done.

Now, there's a tale you've got to hear
So lend me your ears
And open your mind
Because you may well find
That it's all happening to you
And that this story is true
And that your life has treated you unkind
But my friends you've got to keep in mind
That the good times will happen some time
And that beautiful big old scarlet star will shine
Track Name: The Pauper's Prelude
Narrator: Ladies and Gentlemen, this is where our tale begins; in a little town in the rural southwest.

Soliloquy:
I was born into this world a great many years ago
In a town outside of the city
As a pauper, there was no place I'd rather be
Than at home with my family
My folks would always bring me good tidings
As soon as they got home from work
At a late hour in the evening
That's when the bad spirits would lurk

We had a beautiful life
My daddy's wife was a queen and he a king
In our little shack in the backwoods living our dream
So it seemed
But my folks were afraid of the landlord
And nearly wished he were dead
For he could take away our belongings
And the roof above our heads

"Son, don't worry none,"
My folks would always assure me
That there ain't nothing but opportunity
Entrenched in this glorious country
And that our politicians are the finest folks
And would always keep us in mind
And I would grow up to be a millionaire
And that life would treat me kind
Track Name: Scholastic Machine
My folks enrolled me in the scholastic machine
Where the teachers grinded thoughts into my mind
They spoon fed me history, english, and biology
And how to think and how to life my life

"Sit back and listen Jack, you better learn some respect
Or you'll fall back and live your life a no-good reject
For, one's instincts to disobey government authority
Will get you nil by the end of the day"

I learned to pledge allegiance to
The rag of red, white, and blue
And I learned that the rich kids in my school
They were no friends of mine
They bullied me all the time
But with every fight the tougher I grew

"Sit back and listen Jack, you better learn some respect
You ain't naught but a pauper - a no-good reject
But one day you'll learn to obey
The ruling class plutocracy
And you'll find yourself a slave to the company
And you'll find yourself a slave to the bourgeoisie
And you'll be naught but a slave to the state"
Track Name: Long Wavy Hair
'Twas a summers day in May
When I saw her long wavy hair
She smiled and I came near her
And leaned over and whispered in her ear
That I never seen a woman
Quite as lovely and beautiful as her
And thus we made each other's acquaintance
Rather splendidly, and our love began from there

I know; yes I know that our love will last forever
And that someday, we'll be married
And life will treat us kind
Until the end of time

She calls herself Delilah,
But I call her my sweetheart everyday
Sometimes we walk down the river
And make love together by the lake
My heart melts whenever
She looks at me in that romantic gaze
It fills me with pleasure
To look at her beautiful face
Track Name: Medicine Man
The sky was black and the rain fell hard
Whilst daddy wept in pain
The old man in bed was lying on his back
Semi-concious and suffering

Let's call the medicine man
And bring him here as fast as we can
But they asked for rivers of gold for their corporate sham

The old man slowly faded away
For several weeks thereafter
I would cry, "On God! Please don't take him away!
His death would be a disaster!"

Our wealth was dried up through our home
And thus we pawned off our belongings
But to save the man was a plan unachievable
Through our penurious longings
On father! Please be strong!
Your wife and son depend on you
But the day would certainly come
When his death would poison the brew
Track Name: Ranks of the Unemployed
We buried pa in a pauper's grave
With the other wretched poor
We spent all of our savings
On a casket at the store
Now we ain't got no money
Mamma ain't got no time to grieve
She's got to go back to work
And now I've got a hungry burden to feed

So I went over into town
With the ranks of the unemployed
I spent all day searching around
For some work at the local stores
But I got turned away
I guess I'll pray for a lucky day
And that day sure finally came
When I got a job with the corporate man
Track Name: Factory Machines
I'm working everyday
After the school bells ring
Toiling at the factory machines
I get back home at ten p.m.
And wake up in the morning
Only to walk back down that same old road again

I hear the folks complaining at the factory
About the working conditions and such
How the boss works us like slaves
And we work faster every day
But to tell you the truth I don't mind it all so much

I merely need to make enough to pay for our family home
Now that ma and I are living alone
But you better bet I ain't going to work indefinitely
At that dirty old rotten factory
Track Name: Hat & Uniform
I was feeling mighty weary
Working everyday after school
Whilst thinking about my future
What's a poor boy like me to do?
I can't afford to go to college
And I was feeling mighty forlorn
But one day at school I saw a man
In a hat and a uniform

He asked me, "Son, why don't you join the Army?
It's the best darn thing you can do!
We'll give you a hat, and give you a gun,
And give you a uniform,
And you can fight for the red, white, and blue

"If you can't afford higher learning,
Then the Army for you is just right
My boy, here's the plan, you're going to give Uncle Sam
Four measly years of your life! That's all!"

I thought to myself,
"Oh gee, this sounds neat
I can get all I need, whilst serving my country
I can marry Delilah, and help out my ma
Oh boy, this fellow's right, the Army is for me!

I am going to join the Army
It's the best darn thing I can do!
Yes, I am going to join the Army
And fight for the red, white, and blue!"
Track Name: Going to be a Soldier
As I got back home, I bequeathed unto ma
My plans, and in her eyes I saw
A melancholy pride, as the tears swelled in her eyes
And butterflies fluttered in her craw

Mother, I'm going to be a soldier!
And hereafter, life's going to be just swell
And after I return, in school I shall learn
How to lift us from this squalid life of Hell

When I told Delilah, she broke down in tears
After us being together for all these years
We have fallen quite in love
But I knew the skies above
Would be clearer, so we married without fear

Delilah, your man's going to be a soldier!
And hereafter, life's going to be just fine
And after I return, we'll build our happy home
And live together in pleasure all the time

The day I left that old southwestern town
I looked into the somber faces all around
I saw family and friends
My old ma and my girlfriend
Praying that I'd come home safe and sound

Don't you worry, I'm going to be a soldier
And hereafter, life's going to be alright
So I hopped up on that train
With my bags and my wedding ring
And we rolled away from everybody's sight
Track Name: Boot Camp Choir
The sergeant is teaching the boys how to kill
And now the thought of blood and guts gives them a thrill
He claims that their enemies are communistic foes
And the boot camp choir solutes as they go:

"Sir, yes sir we're just cogs in this war machine
Sir, yes sir we know that freedom will never be free
And we're willing to kill and to die in that blood red sea"

Being a soldier makes you a man
With death in your eyes and a cannon in your hands
My mind has been molded and I am so proud
Thus I'll put my hand over my brow as I shout:

"Sir, yes sir I'm just a cog in this war machine
Sir, yes sir I know that freedom will never be free
And I'm willing to kill and to die in that blood red sea"

Like raging ants we scatter the fields
With our death claws open awaiting our next meal
We've all trained hard and we've all trained well
To be masters of death in the fields of Hell
Track Name: Similar Fate
The pawns all arrive in planes
That flew from shore to shore
With thousands of children with youth in their veins
In their hats and their uniforms

They scattered through the fields
Like fodder for feed and wait
For the children who come from the opposite side
Expecting a similar fate
Track Name: Cannon Fodder
Death dropping from the sky; hitting the ground
While flesh flies through the air in a shell shocking sound
I watch as my friends get shot in the face
As the rockets and bombs and grenades mutilate

Sir, yes sir I'm just fodder in this machine of war
Sir, yes sir I know that freedom is worth dying for
But I ain't ready to die and I don't want to be here anymore

Whilst trembling in fear I cross over the land
Avoiding the bombs; running fast as I can
My eyes meet the eyes of another young man
And thus I take his soul; his body fell to the sand

The flames burned bright
That sinful night
I screamed in pain
My flesh in flames

My mind was in shatters as I thought of ma
And Delilah and my quiet life back at home
But the bomb only wounded my leg, and not the rest
And thus I wept in my pain and I lost conciousness
Track Name: A Matter of Time
All day long I get these aches in my head
As I'm sitting back in my old hospital bed
I'm just glad I get to see my good-looking nurse
As she takes care of me while I get through the worst

Of my days; but my doctor says
That I'll be fine; it's just a matter of time

And I thank the lord for not taking my life
Because I got to get back to my beautiful wife
In that old southwestern town
And now I ain't got to fight anymore
In that God-for-saken war
Because I've been discharged
And now I've got a metal of my own

It's been three long years since I've been on this land
Risking my life for Uncle Sam
All my friends were killed before my own eyes
Now things don't seem right with my mind

I got to get through these days
But my doctor says
That I'll be fine; it's just a matter of time
Track Name: Broken Mind, Broken Heart
The war was still happening the day that I came home
My ma gave me a hug
And I asked her where my wife had gone
My ma told me, "Son,
You're woman's found another man."
I sat back and weeped, I could not understand

We were going to start a family of our very own
We'd all live together in our happy little home
But Delilah couldn't bare being all alone
And her love for me had disappeared while I was gone

My mind was shaking, and breaking down every day
But the doctor said my memories of war
Would soon fade away
The war broke my mind, and Delilah, she broke my heart
I've got to put myself together
But I don't know where to start
Track Name: Stranded
Mother lost her job to children
Who work for half a dollar an hour
In a land that's far away
So the company can safe
On the tears, sweat, and blood of the poor

Oh, dear mother please don't cry!
Our country will surely help some way
For, I was fodder in the war
And thus they promised to secure
The rapture of our humble family

I asked for some help with my broken mind
But alas, I was incessantly ignored
I spend my days and evenings a crying
For my memories are buried in that war

I've been stranded on an island
And I haven't seen a ship in all these years
I pray that someday someone soon shall find
My island and save me from my tears
For I'm stranded and I'm drowning in my tears
Track Name: Punch In, Punch Out
I got another job at the factory
I've been working everyday to feed my family
I tried to go to school, but I dropped out
And now I'm here to stay
And for a scanty wage, the boss is working me like a slave

"Punch in and punch out, and keep up your speed
You'll be fired if your hinder productivity!"
With fancy shoes on his feet
The boss whips an army of sheep
And you'll be pinching your pennies
Working at the factory

James lost his arms in a flying wheel
He got leave without pay and a partial medical deal
But the union did nothing after the ordeal
They're run by the company
And there's no such thing as a free meal

Boy I wish my mind wasn't wreaked in the war
I'd go back to school and wouldn't work here anymore
I'd get a degree and be free
To leave this corporate killing floor
I'd tell my boss to go to Hell!
And I'd waltz out through that door
Track Name: The Landlord
On a cold winter day, I got a letter in the mail
'Twas from the landlord
He said, "We're gonna put your house up for sale.
You didn't pay your mortgage, so now we're going to take your house
Unless you pay your rent today,
We're going to boot you and your family out."

My ma is unemployed
I'm just a makin' a measly wage
My ma sat and weeped
As my blood boiled with rage
I ought to kill my landlord
And anyone who tries to mess with me
But I can't afford to go to jail
I've got a family to feed

They took our house
So now we've got to find another place to live
We got to find a cheap shack to call home
Because we ain't got much to give
Track Name: Letter to the Working Man
I was walking on a dreary morning
For another day at the factory
I was feeling utterly disheartened
When a fellow came up to me
He bade me a, "Good day, comrade!"
And bestowed unto my hand
A paper of a strange nature
'Twas a letter to the working man

And thus, it said:
"Hi ho! Hi ho! My comrades did ye know?
That a proletarian revolution's beginning to grow!
Hi ho! Hi ho! My comrades did ye know?
That a world free for liberty is what it will bestow!

"Our lives are being torn asunder
By the ruling class and the government
The cost of living rises as our wages decline
Public outrage is beginning to foment!
Our jobs are being sent overseas
Where child labor still exists
We must fight our way towards a brighter day
And when we win, we'll raise our mighty fists!

"Are you living a life of indigence?
Are your broken hands covered in blood?
Is the wealth you created expropriated
To an aristocrat's golden flood?
Our republic is tied to a string
That's held in the palms of a man
With a top-hat and a grin
That's dripping with sin
Of war, and blood on his hands"

By God, I couldn't believe my eyes!
'Twas the feeling I've had the whole time!
I asked the man, what was this letter in my hand
'Twas a socialist leaflet of rhymes!
He told me all about the union
And the fight for equality
And that I've been a pawn for far too long
And to join the People's Army!
Track Name: The Eve of Upheaval
The union hall was filled to the brim
By working women and men
A meeting was called by the Worker's Vanguard
To discuss the revolution
They were planning a strike throughout the night
With orators rousing the room
Jeers and cheers hath tickled their ears
'Twas the people's defiant tune

On the eve of upheaval
The workers got ready to fight
To liberate the people
From the Empire's destructive might
Thus the deal hath been sealed
Nevermore shall we kneel
To the demons of the right
For, an epic rebellion is now being drawn
And shall be done by the end of the night

And thus the plot was drawn all night long
By the workers who dressed in black
They felt an energy of liberty
They knew there was no turning back
To a life of despair that tainted the air
Via bourgeois inequity
And thus the meeting was closed
And the people went home, awaiting their reckoning
Track Name: Under the Burning Sun
The star rose high in the scarlet sky
The day broke away from the somber night
The war hath begun under the burning sun
Yet soon the flames shall fall nil
From the cannons and machine guns
For, we'll win

All of my pains will soon wash away
The loss of my hearth, and the war, and heartbreak
My comrades in armes
Give me the strength to go on
For, this world of despair will disappear
And the Crown will be ours
Track Name: My Army
The workers from every town
In all the world around
Hath took to the streets
And sought to defeat
The King and his golden crown
Our Highness has heretofore
Besieged our liberty
And thus, we shan't stand for it anymore
We shall wave the flags of our army

My Army! My Army!
Ye shall fight for liberty!
We shall walk hand in hand to the promised land
And wave our flags in glory!

We seized every federal building
And every clinic and every school
We took over every factory
And tore down the red, white, and blue
We fought every ounce of resistance -
The counter-revolutionaries
We left every battle in victory
And waved the flags of our army
Track Name: Dice
We abolished the republic
Bequeathed unto the public
Equal land and a generous hand in camaraderie
We dissolved corporations
All across the nation
And thus, the people gained control of productivity

Now, we live in a worker's paradise
This live sans grieving certainly is nice
For, the bosses and the landlords
Have been excised from this world
For, my Army took the gold when we rolled the dice

Now, there ain't no tuition
Free school for the children
If you're feeling sick
The medic will assist you free of charge
Every man's a king
And ever gal's a queen
For, we ain't naught but human beings
In this great big world of ours
Track Name: Finale, the Scarlet Star, No. 3, Op. 7
Narrator: Ladies and Gentlemen - Comrades! 'Tis nearly the end of our tale - of that young humble lad who grew up in the rural southwest, who, as it turns out, was not alone in his trails and tribulations. And, as a matter of consequence, 'twas these very beasts of burden who, with their numbers, paved way for a brighter future. And as for our humble hero:

Soliloquy:
I'm living, yes I'm living
A life of tranquility
When I'm working at the shop
Or hanging with my ma
And the rest of my family
I met a little sweetheart
She's my revolutionary
She's got a beautiful mind
And two big brown eyes
Yes, I love her and she loves me

Life can be so strange
It can change from joy to disaster
'Tis quite peculiar
But one day you may find your way to a state of rapture

Yes, now I'm living - I'm finally living
A life of equality
With no poverty to speak of
Just peace, unity, and love
'Tis a life of camaraderie
Yes, we ousted Washington, D.C.
And we pillaged and plundered Wall Street
And redistributed wealth equally
To every town and every city
Now the market truly is free
And the rest is all history
And verily, we live in world of liberty
And that scarlet star in the sky is shimmering!

Narrator: Ladies and Gentlemen - Comrades! This is the end of our show, and you have been a lovely audience. And before I let you go, I want you all to keep in mind that dreams are what make a revolution.