I will survive

Cover design by Michele Winfield
I will survive

I will survive. The words make up the phrase
Sung by Gloria Gaynor to a tearful crowd of gays
In sad self-isolation. I’ll call a spade a spade.
The barman’s calling time on this identity parade…
I feel the longing of the lone long-distance lover,
Though, when it comes to sentiment, I keep it undercover.
My life matters… at least, to me… but why?
Who wills survives to will again… but who am I?

At breakneck speed, my form depends on vigorous mutation,
Cytoplasmic inheritance blown on constant replication,
At rates of reproduction, where the fastest is the slowest,
I infect my hosts, but only whose resistance is the lowest;
I’ll get my protein coat, I’m leaving, all these sad farewells…
I cannot live in freedom, spend my time locked up in cells,
Parasitically depend on that of which I’m most desirous:
I’m a virus.

I, I will survive
Oh, as long as I’m mutating, you can say that I’m alive
I've got all your life to live
I've got immunity to give and I'll survive
I will survive, hey hey

Dreamt up by colonials to prove their reign of terror;
Bounded by my neighbour, whom I’m doomed to always mirror.
Encroachment, conquest, slavery, revolt, extermination;
Reluctant to assimilate, I combat integration
In these rivers of blood, in which no man steps twice,
I want to play, but don’t want to play nice –
You’ll dominate, I’ll be your bitch, just tell me to my face
That I’m a race. 

I, I will survive
Oh, as long as I remember who I am, I'll be alive –
I've got all my life to live
I've got my heritage to give – and I'll survive
I will survive, hey hey

In my urge to penetrate into the mystery of the other,
I’ll impregnate my sister, lift my hand against my brother –
He, whose sacrifice was pleasing to the Lord,
I’ll mend his torment with my perfect sword –
And, wandering the earth, condemned to arbitrary freedom,
I invent bizarre machines to ease my suppurating tedium;
Inhabiting the world since time began…
I am a man.

And I’ll survive
Oh, as long as I’m determining myself, I'll stay alive
I've got all my life to live
I've got my cleverness to give and I'll survive
I will survive, hey hey

Receptive, all-embracing, I anticipate deflowering
That my idiot compassion spawn a Mother all-devouring,
Or an icy queen, whose reign entails a thousand years of winter:
I’m Karaba the sorceress, whose spine conceals a splinter,
To be plucked by Kirikou, who ungirds my underbodice,
To bloom into a beautiful and open-hearted goddess;
Embodying in truth exactly half of what is human…
I am a woman.

And I’ll survive
Oh, as long as I am nurturing, I know I'll stay alive
I've got all my life to live
And I've got all my love to give and I'll survive
I will survive, hey hey

All history is murderous, for dead men tell no tales.
As a player on this stage, whose life expectancy entails
That, in waging war or trade, I give no quarter:
I’ll be pensioned in the form of bricks and mortar;
And, like all such men rewarded for their violence,
I’ll endeavour that my victims rest in silence.
In terms of slave religion, aye, a sinner…
But I’m a winner.

I, I will survive
Oh, as long as I’ve got narrative, I know I'll stay alive
I've got all my life to live
And I've got evidence to give and I'll survive
I will survive, hey hey

I am the spark of grace that sets the universe ablaze,
Scintillating everywhere until the end of days;
The suffering and pain amongst the human population
Are but food for me; my drink – their rank humiliation.
The older that I get, the more I’m saving up my semen,
Storing vital energy for battling these demons;
While I’m waiting for the angels to arrive,
I will survive.

© Rap version based on the original song by Dino Fekaris / Frederick J. Perren. Additional lyrics written and performed by Thomas Riffmatch to a backing track arranged by Nikita Nikitin with backing vocals by Primavera, recorded and produced in Ekaterinburg by Andrey Bokovikov.

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