Jon Gomm "Wukan Motorcycle Kid" (original composition)
Today being September 11th, it's a day to remember heroes ... both the living and the fallen. Many heroes are unknown and unsung, yet they've made a critical and crucial difference in the lives of others, who may or may not even know about it. This song pays tribute to just such a hero, as told about in Jon's own words:
"I wrote it for playing on tour in China earlier this year. I needed something to bridge the musical gap between what I do and what most people over there are used to hearing. And also I wanted to have something with some relevant purpose. So this tune is about the Wukan Uprising of 2011.
Wukan is a village in rural China. The government seized some farmland, owned by local families, and sold it off to developers. The local people weren't too happy about that, so they held a peaceful sit-in protest. Sadly the government sent in the scary secret police guys, who arrested one of the protest leaders (a local craftsman and father), and he died the next day in police custody from "a heart attack".
(His name was Xue Jinbo, and he died 2 years ago to the day the video was released, last week.)
After that the protests got more vigorous and the police were rounding people up off the streets at night. When I saw it on the TV news, they were interviewing this kid who'd been riding round the village at night on his little motorbike, looking out for secret police down back alleys. And if he saw one, he'd shout a warning to the other villagers through his megaphone, then speed off, with bullets whistling past his ears. Which is represented in the last minute or so of the song.
So this song is for that courageous kid, wherever he is."