Beautiful Enemy

Album: My Better Self (2005)

Songfacts®:

  • Dar Williams' Wesleyan education is on display in this song, with lyrics like "Hail to your vast hegemony." Written during a tense time in the Iraq war, Williams was expressing her views on America's military policy. She explained to The Progressive: "Hegemony is not defined by rivers or conventional borders—it's dominance, it's influence. So we get to decide in our hearts, are we in Iraq to help restore something, or are we there to establish dominance? How can you torture people and say, well, that's just a few bad apples in our culture? When you visit war upon a country, you're visiting it upon the whole country. The song 'Beautiful Enemy' points to the inevitable moment when you say, if I'm having a war over the hedges with my neighbor, how can I expect Israel and Palestine to get along? It looks at the flags and symbols and jingoisms of our personal fiefdoms."

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