The dreams of dozens of Norwegian girls ended in disenchantment on Saturday when organizers axed part of their show at the UN General Assembly in New York, citing concerns over lyrics listing some of history’s worst tyrants.
The 46 members of the Norwegian Girls Choir had long looked forward to performing their song about war and peace at the General Assembly Hall, newspaper Aftenposten reports.
But the girls, aged 12 to 19, never got to realize their ambition after the organizers of the Rhythms of One World Festival took fright on hearing the choir sound-check.
As conductor Anne Karin Sundal-Ask worked out some of the details for the stage show with a lighting technician, the choir shrieked out the names of infamous tyrants from Hitler and Mussolini to Quisling, Stalin, Lenin, Castro, Tito, Maria Antoinette and Papa Doc.
“The mood changed quickly at that point and they wanted a list of all the names,” Sundal Ask told the newspaper.
The choir leader said she was willing to compromise and remove some of the names but the organizers at the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation eventually told her the girls were not going to be allowed to perform the piece.
The award-winning song has been performed all over the world. Gasps composer Maja Ratkje,
“As far as I’m aware, this is the first time my art has been censored.”
If you want your music to be performed at the UN, be sure to limit criticisms to rhetorical rotten tomatoes hurled at the USA and Israel.
On a tip from Smorfia48.