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Updated: Sep 13, 2023

Hey man if you think this whole thing’s funny

You’re right, sometimes I also have a laugh

But just read between the lines and you’ll be sure to find

The made-up parts are less than half

It’s a lousy country we’re living here in

Can’t even get its act on the road

So let’s find a place down in the islands

Or else we’ll really die before we get old

‘Cause black is white, darkness light

Day is night, wrong is right

Black is white, black is white

Repeat it over and over and it becomes right

Everything here becomes a federal case

Basket case, mental case

Cold case, hard case

Open and shut case, head case

FBI case, domestic spy case

Ex-presidential alleged criminal case

The best case I say is the Blues Briefcase

So get off my case

‘Cause black is white, darkness light

Day is night, wrong is right

Black is white, back is white

Say it with a straight face and all is right

It seems that every director who has an agenda

And wants to be up there with the best

Makes some shicy movie to tell sisters to sleep with cousins

After all, what’s wrong with incest?

‘Cause love, peace, and humanist understanding

Are higher values than any others

Well, the real truth is they humanistically understand the terrorist

‘Cause they don’t wanna love or make peace with their brothers

‘Cause black is white, darkness light

Day is night, wrong is right

Straight is curled, free is furled

Boy is girl, screwed up world

X is Y, truth is lie

You succeeded to deceive and now I believe

That black is white, black is white

You drilled it into my head so what you say must be right

©2023 The Hesh Inc.

Detail of "Black Is White" - original AI art by The Hesh Inc.
Black is white, back is white / Say it with a straight face and all is right.

I originally wrote this in the mid-1980s in the thick of my stint in the Israeli army, amidst a whole series of political scandals then rocking the country (seriously, when does that not happen?) as part of a three-song "triptych" sandwiched by "Somewhere Out in Tiza Nabi" on one side and "Love Is Just A Cannon Shot Away" on the other. I generally shy away from topical songs such as this, since once the scandal du jour boils over the song becomes instantly dated, and that's indeed what happened to the original version of this song once the news cycle focused elsewhere and life went on.

However, every now and then things spill over to the point where I can't withhold commentary, and so I took this out of the old songwriting notebook and tweaked it just a little bit to reflect some events happening concurrently with this posting. It didn't need much tweaking, which is a commentary in and of itself about how very little actually changes. There is, in fact, nothing new under the sun.

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that change darkness into light, and light into darkness; that change bitter into sweet, and sweet into bitter ~Isaiah 5:20.

Musically, the song resumes the "Middle Eastern" type of rhythm started in "Tiza Nabi" and then rolls into a Lou Reed–type monologue before ending abruptly with the sound of a cannon shot, signaling the beginning of the next song in the triptych. All in all, an interesting idea for an EP ... but by the time I'd get around to recording this song (and "Cannon Shot"), the world will have moved on to the next thing. So ... maybe it will get recorded, maybe it won't. And may things get better before they get a whole lot worse.

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