The song, entitled "Roots" (selective lyrics below), looks back on just how important our roots are. Where would we be without them? What kind of life would we be leading? What would our music be like? How about our language? Although we may not often think about it, they're a huge factor impacting our modern society. Admittedly the song focusses in particularly on (the disappearing) English culture, but I'm sure the underlying message will also apply to the other areas of the world where people are far too focussed on the future, far too reliant on the ever advancing of technology.
"Seed, bark, flower, fruit
They're never gonna grow without their roots
Branch, stem, shoot
They need roots
Haul away boys, let them go
Out in the wind and the rain and snow
We've lost more than we'll ever know
'Round the rocky shores of England
We need roots
And we learn to be ashamed before we walk
Of the way we look, and the way we talk
Without our stories or our songs
How will we know where we come from?"</b>
Think about it. How we were brought up, where we were brought up, who we were brought up with, in which time period we were brought up in - they're all massive contributors to who we are today - and each factor, even if just quietly, relies on roots. What events happened to make an area the way it is? What happened to make a family the way it is / was? Our cultural roots can provide enormous incites into the reasons we are who we are, through our songs and our art, everywhere used to have an amazingly strong sense of cultural identity. It's amazing to see cultures becoming more acceptant of each other, but so sad to see individual and lesser subsects fading away.
You don't have to be a historian to be able to look and listen back to old songs and photos, old recordings and records, the stories our grandparents used to tell us - to realise we're heading towards losing something we surely can't afford to let go of?
Throughout history, every now and again some giant generic brush has swept through our nations trying to paint us the same colour, trying to create a "perfect race". The Nazi Regime, for example, the decimation of old religions by the more widely practised (e.g. Christianity vs Paganism), the Troubles in Ireland (fighting between the Catholic and Protestant beliefs). These events are never really helped much by the overwhelming human urge to follow the crowd and then *boom!* - another aspect of a culture, or even an entire way of life, is gone.
I know it's important to look into the future, to be in touch with the here and now - but our past is equally as important. If we don't look into the past at the mistakes we made, how will we realise that we're making them again?
At this point I'm sure quite a lot of readers are probably going "right, now show us the damn art!" I'm coming to that I promise!
A little while ago I asked contributors to the ThumbShare forum to post me a piece of art portraying their interpretation of the word "roots", perhaps with a short explanation describing their choice. Linked in with the idea of roots is that of memory and nostalgia (looking back). I got some interesting responses and a couple of great quotes, so I hope you enjoy looking!
REMEMBER</u> - if you like an artist's work then let them know about it!
""People come and go, planets move...but my roots will always be here." - DarkViking
"It's a kind of reverse nostalgia - the future of the past."
"Dartmoor, England. I grew up there and those tors were my favourite place to be. There's nothing like them where I live now - the space and emptiness, the views and plants and those goddamn wonderful rocks."
"A simple wish, as I like to call it, or Dai Sai Sin in Thai, is a protective amulet - made from twine - tied around the wrist of family, friends, visitors as well as couples on their wedding day and used throughout celebrations in Thailand."
"The desaturated colours show that there was a more colourful life."
"Inspired, and mainly related to; memories of dreams, feelings and thoughts I experienced as a child."
:thumb40533630: "a product of my imagination from when I was little. I used to play with dinosaur toys instead of barbies and girly things... and I always use to imagine the dinosaurs (dragons) were real. I used to make them eat the Barbie and Ken dolls I had... which was pretty funny. They would attack innocent McDonald toys and terrorize cities... only to be shoved back in a box later on in the day when it was time for dinner."
"Memory is like a distant land, out of reach. It's illusive. A moment frozen in time. "
"An old barracks near my town. This whole place nearly burnt down... That makes this photo seem more valuable to me."
"Memory is all part of the vortex of time."
Thanks to all the artists for contributing their thoughts and beautiful work!