I wrote these two short pieces in 2019, to be sung outside the last arms fair at the Excel Centre in London. I hoped that they would rapidly become obsolete; historical notes to a shameful episode in British history. However, despite the U.S announcing they will no longer sell weapons to Saudi Arabia, the UK government seems to lack any morals and so far is continuing to contribute to the destruction of Yemen and its people, while at the same time cutting aid. Since I wrote the music, the situation has only got worse, especially with Covid on the loose in a society where health care has been devastated due to war.

The UK has the dubious distinction of being the sixth largest trader in arms in the world. That’s not a record to be proud of.

The songs were written for SATB, unfortunately at their first performance outside the Excel centre those of the singers who succeeded in getting past the police were drowned out by helicopters. Then before there was time to do a decent recording we were in lockdown. So this is an imperfect rendition with my own voice, and piano pretending to be the lower voices.

Keep raising the issue with government, MPs, and generally. There is no justification for the UK to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia – or anywhere. Unless we accept amoral governance and a world economy built on war and weapons.


Every child has the right to live in peace, protected from harm

Unafraid, with enough to eat.

But all over Yemen, children are dying

Four thousand are already dead

And four hundred thousand children face death by starvation

In Sa’na, Hudayda, Juberia,

Dahyan, Al Makha, Saada,

Wadi Sabiyeh, Wadi Sahadi and Adin.

Families shattered and dispersed,

Communities living in fear

Farmlands and fisheries deliberately destroyed.

Using weapons to starve civilians is a war crime, a war crime, a war crime

Governments, arms dealers, shareholders

We hold you accountable for war crimes,

For murder of children and families

We hold you accountable for war crimes!


One hundred, one hundred billion dollars a year, spent on global arms sales

And over five billion pounds worth of death and destruction

Licensed to Saudi Arabia by British governments.

These are not numbers, these are not merely numbers,

These are lives, histories and landscapes

Sisters and brothers, children and mothers, old friends and lovers..

In company boardrooms and government offices lives are traded for money

Why do we create Hell on Earth, why do we create Hell on Earth,

When Earth could be our Heaven?

Why do we create Hell on Earth, why do we create Hell on Earth,

When Earth could be our Heaven?