"Listening Wind" as written by and David/frantz Byrne....
Mojique sees his village from a nearby hill
Mojique thinks of days before Americans came
He sees the foreigners in growing numbers
He sees the foreigners in fancy houses
He thinks of days that he can still remember...now.
Mojique holds a package in his quivering hands
Mojique sends the package to the American man
Softly he glides along the streets and alleys
Up comes the wind that makes them run for cover
He feels the time is surely now or never...more.
The wind in my heart
The wind in my heart
The dust in my head
The dust in my head
The wind in my heart
The wind in my heart
(Come to)
Drive them away
Drive them away.
Mojique buys equipment in the market place
Mojique plants devices in the free trade zone
He feels the wind is lifting up his people
He calls the wind to guide him on his mission
He knows his friend the wind is always standing...by.
Mojique smells the wind that comes from far away
Mojique waits for news in a quiet place
He feels the presence of the wind around him
He feels the power of the past behind him
He has the knowledge of the wind to guide him...on.
The wind in my heart
The wind in my heart
The dust in my head
The dust in my head
The wind in my heart
The wind in my heart
(Come to)
Drive them away
Drive them away.

Lyrics submitted by exact

"Listening Wind" as written by Chris Frantz David Byrne

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

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Listening Wind song meanings
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  • +6
    General CommentMaybe it's 'cause I'm an old guy--and therefore my political attitudes developed long before 9/11--but I feel great sympathy for the protagonist.

    Another factor: I've read extensively about the horrific effects of American foreign policy on the Third World. Initially the U.S. interfered primarily in Central and South America--the "Monroe Doctrine"--but after WWII, the covert apparatus (CIA et al) spread through the world. Especially in Africa and the Middle East.

    (The CIA does perform a little bit of actual intelligence gathering. But it's not their primary function; internally, these are considered the shit jobs. It's the paramilitary hijinks--ultraviolent spook stuff--which get the dollars and the prestige.)

    It's difficult to find places on the globe where we haven't subverted local democratic movements in order to preserve the rule of dictators. American-based companies doing business around the world want "stability," which means they get cheap labor and natural resources...while the local population gets decimated. (Usually economically. But if war is necessary, well...we're pretty good at that.)

    Example: the coup (engineered by the USA) against democratically-elected Mossadegh in '50s Iran. American business was happier with the Shah, whose SAVAK secret police were notorious as among the most brutal--and perversely imaginative--torturers on the planet. By the '70s all moderate opposition had been killed off--literally--so is it surprising the only force capable of deposing the Shah were Islamic fundamentalists?

    Just one case. You'll find stories like this repeated again and again: throughout the years, no matter where you look. The U.S. even meddles with the internal political affairs of its allies: Italy and Australia for example.

    OK Mojique sees his country being overrun by Western business, so he begins killing people, hoping to use fear to "drive them away."

    He "has the past to guide him." If he lives in a poor country, he has ancestors who've fought similar guerilla campaigns in the past. Or who failed to resist, and watched helplessly as their country was nearly destroyed.

    Let's bring things closer to home.

    Imagine, oh, let's say...Russia secretly plans to ship U.S. oil and timber and wheat (etc. etc.) overseas: for the benefit of the wealthy in that country. (No, it isn't likely. But just try to imagine. It'll make things seem less abstract.)

    The foreign government's security apparatus (the former KGB) sends operatives to the United States: fixing elections, using bribes and graft and assassinations to radically change everything about American society. The ultimate goal is to enslave Americans, under total Russian control.

    Would the U.S. government, military--even civilians--simply allow these things to happen?

    They'd be willing to kill, in order to preserve what's rightfully theirs.
    foreverdroneon July 04, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentSuch a terrifying song. Out of all of Remain in Light, which is all pretty awesome, I think it's this or Born Under Punches that's my favorite.
    I think most of us might automatically assume Mojique is of Middle Eastern descent but the name seems more African or Native American in nature now that I think about it and read the above comments. Did those two other posters find out for sure it's about a Native American terrorist? I can't find any official info on it. I hear "marketplace" and "free trade zone" and think Africa for some reason.
    There is something sacred about the song. The chorus feels like a mantra replaying over and over in Mojique's mind.
    ZombieCultHeroon January 21, 2009   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationThis song is about a Native American who is sending a bomb package to an American Man. "He waits for news in quiet way." He waits to hear if the man is dead from the bomb. The motivation is the damage done to the tribal homelands. "He sees the foreigners in growing numbers. He sees the foreigners in fancy houses." He asks the wind to drive them away, to make them go back to the old world. The wind is listening to what he is thinking. That is why it is called the Listening Wind. It is like a prayer he is making to the Wind or the Great Spirit of his religion.
    tropicalthoughton May 29, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThe song is about a colonial encounter. Mojique is, quite clearly, a terrorist. The dust might hint at a nearby desert. The wind in his heart hints at a yearning for justice before strangers from faraway lands: in this case, Americans. The wind in his heart is his strength and resolve against them. The name "Mojique," with a pseudo-French ending (rather than Monique, Mojique, as in mojo), suggests a play with words and hints at a place in Africa, where many French colonial exploits took place. The Americans would have arrived later, to impose neocolonialism through economic means, rather than political or military. In all, it describes a common story, fertile ground for backlash or blow-back. If some pols had listened to this while in college, perhaps they would have learned something, though I guess they were too busy playing with Skull and Bones.
    PeggySue1962on November 16, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's pretty funny to read about the French or African sound of the word "Mouzhik" or how this song is about the Native Americans. I mean, it could be about Native Americans for all I know, but just so you know, "Mouzhik" is a Russian word that means something like "simple man" or "peasant".

    So at its face value the song is about the invasion of the Western world into the Slavic Eastern European civilizations. You can interpret it in whatever way you like, just bear in mind that "Mouzhik" is not some abstract name, but quite a specific Russian word that fits well into the general feel of the song: the simple man's reaction to the Western invasion.
    MeurglysIIIon November 22, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGreat song, (like all T.H. songs) but it is guilty of romanticizing terrorism and saying there is some mystical justification for bombing innocent civilians.

    The lyrics are a Leftist/Anarchist pretext for "Propaganda of the Deed".

    Very thought-provoking.
    NomadMonadon January 31, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentVery moving depiction of a young terrorist from his point of view. Compare this with M.I.A.'s 'Sunshowers'.
    DevastatorJr.on January 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song scare me.but I cant stop listenin'
    annazoffon November 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think Africa when I hear this. Mainly because of the percussion all over the album is Africa-based.
    uncachuckon March 28, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA very insightful and touching song about the mix of West and East and I think the emergence of neo-liberalism and globalisation and its effects on the world.
    Bobbyperu1892on September 07, 2015   Link

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