The lead singer of the iconic 1970s disco group Boney M said Thursday the band was asked to skip one of its biggest hits in a West Bank concert this week.The lyrics of the song quote Psalms 137, one of the most melancholy and heart-rending Psalms:
Boney M., known for "Rasputin," "By the Rivers of Babylon," "Ma Baker" and "Hooray! Hooray! It's a Holi-Holiday" gained worldwide fame for its music in the late '70s disco era.
Maizie Williams said the Palestinian concert organizers told her not to sing "By the Rivers of Babylon" during the band's first ever Ramallah gig. The song's chorus quotes from the Book of Psalms, referring to the exiled Jewish people's yearning to return to the land of Israel.
Palestinians often question the Jewish historical connection to the Holy Land.
Williams said she did not know if it was a political thing or what, but they asked us not to do it and we were a bit disappointed. Organizers said they asked for the song to be skipped, deeming it inappropriate.
By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. Upon the willows in the midst thereof we hanged up our harps. For there they that led us captive asked of us words of song, and our tormentors asked of us mirth: 'Sing us one of the songs of Zion.' How shall we sing the Lord's song in a foreign land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I remember thee not; if I set not Jerusalem above my chiefest joy.
You see? Lyrics like that could cause riots! How dare the Psalmist write such Zionist propaganda!