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The Writer

This song was inspired by the case of Amina Lawal, a young Nigerian woman found guilty of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning under Shari'a law. I wonder if Amina Lawal would have approved of the judgement Jesus gives in this story?

This song is a reworking in a more Turkish style of the same song that appeared on Pocketful of Rye
some words...
It was the hour of dawn, down at the temple courts
All the Jews were there, they came to hear him talk
And then the girl came in, dragged before the crowd
She wasn't wearing much; every man looked round

"Take a good look gentlemen, what do you see?
You are the judges and the jury
Smudged and faded lipstick, tousled hair
Search the hand for a wedding band, you will not find one there
Under the Law of Moses, we'd bring out the stones
But tell us Jesus, you're the teacher, what should we do?"

Jesus turned around and started writing on the ground
Didn't say a single word to the crowd
"Come on Jesus, super-preacher, do you want first throw?"
Everyone is silent as they watch his fingers move

He took a good long look at the woman's face
Saw the fear of death, fear of disgrace
And still the questions came: what does the teacher say?
The young men chose their stones, testing them for weight

"Take a good look gentlemen, who do you see?
You are the judges and the jury
Some of you here know her name, some I think know more
Did you steal her kisses from your missus? Lucky you were not caught
Under the Law of Moses, you've brought out the stones
Let the pure one cast the first one, innocents if you please"

Jesus turned away and started writing on the ground
Didn't say a single word to the crowd
Starting with the eldest, one by one they slipped away
Everyone was silent as they quickly left for work

And when the last man left, the teacher turned around
He gave the girl his cloak, gently took her hand
He looked into her eyes, as she looked at the ground
"Where has your jury gone? Where is the wig and gown?"

"Take a good look lady, who do you see?
I am your judge now and your jury
I'm under no illusions, the case is clear
I hope you've learnt grace can't be earned, now, go and sin no more"

Jesus turned away and started writing on the ground
"Don't you want to know what I've been scratching out, hey, check it out"
So she knelt and read the words – then he scuffed them out
Both of them left smiling, but it never made the Book
...and their inspiration
John 8:1-15

Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and Pharisees brought a woman they had caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.

"Teacher," they said to Jesus, "this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. 5The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?"

They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, "All right, stone her. But let those who have never sinned throw the first stones!" Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to her, "Where are your accusers? Didn't even one of them condemn you?"

"No, Lord," she said.

And Jesus said, "Neither do I. Go and sin no more."
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