Here, Patti Smith sings of an Iraqi mother trying to sing a lullaby to her children about their country while Americans are dropping bombs on them. At the time, American forces were occupying Iraq after invading the country in 2003.
When Patti Smith performs songs like "Radio Baghdad" live she includes a kernel of the text from the records, before spinning off into melancholy, outrage, whatever words that have been inspired in the moment. She explained to Mojo this song is not a piece she can do over and over again like an actress reciting her lines.
"'Radio Baghdad' is 12 minutes long. It was completely improvised from a study I had done. I can't remember 12 minutes' worth of lyrics on stage. It wouldn't be the same."