Video: Andy Worthington’s Band The Four Fathers Play New Version of ‘Song for Shaker Aamer’ Reflecting His Release from Guantánamo


Andy Worthington's band The Four Fathers play an updated version of 'Song for Shaker Aamer' in a screenshot from a video recorded on October 31, 2015, the day after Shaker's release from Guantanamo.Just a quick note to let you all know that, on Saturday, my band The Four Fathers were filmed playing a revised version of my “Song for Shaker Aamer,” to reflect Shaker’s release from Guantánamo on Friday.

Primarily, it was heartening for me to change the words of the chorus from the present to the past tense, but also not to have to sing, any more, that he was “stuck in a cell alone, although the US says it wants to let him go.”

Here’s the revised chorus:

Shaker Shaker
They chained your body but they could not chain your mind
You told truth to power
Even though you were behind the wire

The recorded version of the song (featuring Shaker’s voice, recorded in Guantánamo) is featured on our debut album, “Love and War,” and is available as a download — for 80p ($1.23), although you can pay more if you like. 25% of the takings will be donated to Shaker’s family.

The video recorded on Saturday is below, as featured on The Four Fathers’ YouTube channel (and please feel free to subscribe to us):

“Song for Shaker Aamer” was featured in the campaign video for We Stand With Shaker, which I established with the activist Joanne MacInnes last November, and which played a part in securing Shaker’s release — along with the long-running Save Shaker Aamer Campaignthe campaigning of MPs and the support of the mainstream media here in the UK. The campaign video, I’m glad to note, has now been seen by over 4,000 people.

Please also note that the ‘Love and War’ album is also available to download, for just £4.50 ($7) or more if you wish — or it can be bought as a CD for £7 ($10.85).

If you’re in London, or reasonably near, and would like us to play, please do get in touch. We’re available for political events, pub gigs, parties.

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer, film-maker and singer-songwriter (the lead singer and main songwriter for the London-based band The Four Fathers, whose debut album, ‘Love and War,’ is available for download or on CD via Bandcamp — also see here). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign, the co-director of We Stand With Shaker, which called for the release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison (finally freed on October 30, 2015), and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by the University of Chicago Press in the US, and available from Amazon, including a Kindle edition — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here — or here for the US).

To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to Andy’s RSS feed — and he can also be found on Facebook (and here), Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. Also see the six-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, and The Complete Guantánamo Files, an ongoing, 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011. Also see the definitive Guantánamo habeas list, the full military commissions list, and the chronological list of all Andy’s articles.

Please also consider joining the Close Guantánamo campaign, and, if you appreciate Andy’s work, feel free to make a donation.

8 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, Charell Wyatt Charlie‎ wrote:

    Who knew Andy Worthington is a musician too?

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Check out our album here, Charell!

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Jamal Ajouaou wrote:


  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Laura Lance wrote:

    Dang, this is a great song! Love it — and would love to see the lyrics, too.

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Jamal – and Laura, so glad you like the song. The lyrics are here, on the Bandcamp page, where you can download the song for just 80p/$1.23, or you can pay more if you want – and 25% goes to Shaker’s family:
    The revised lyrics are below:

    Song for Shaker Aamer (by Andy Worthington)

    This is a song for Shaker Aamer
    The last British man in Guantánamo
    Held for nearly 14 years
    Though for 8 years the US said that he could go

    And half the men still held
    Are in the same sad situation
    Prisoners of political games
    That ought to shame the nation

    Shaker Shaker
    They chained your body but they could not chain your mind
    You told truth to power
    Even though you were behind the wire

    Shaker Aamer is no terrorist
    In fact he cares deeply for his fellow man
    That’s why he took his family
    To help poor Muslims in Afghanistan

    But he was sold to the US for money
    And he was held because of all he knew
    He came to be seen as a leader
    Because he stood up to the torture and abuse

    Chorus (repeat)

    So Shaker Aamer’s back in London
    Where he was given indefinite leave to remain
    A huge campaign to get him back
    Shamed the US and the UK, that much is plain

    And Shaker’s family
    They waited so patiently for him to come home
    He hadn’t seen his youngest son
    Who was born the day he got to Guantánamo

    Chorus (repeat)

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Miriam Ruberl wrote:

    Greatest possible reason for a revision !!

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, thanks, Miriam. I like that!

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Great news! The journalist Kevin Gosztola featured ‘Song for Shaker Aamer’ as his “Protest Song of the Week” on his well-regarded Shadowproof website:

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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