Quito quito pic script

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Note: the script included here is of the version currently being performed live by The Song Company. It is a cut-down version of the Quito that's on the Tall Poppies CD (TP111). It may be (should be) freely reproduced in the concert program accompanying a performance of the work, preferably with the following words, or similar, printed with it:

"reproduced with permission of the authors"


for six singers & tape (1997)

book & lyrics: Peter Wesley-Smith

book & music: Martin Wesley-Smith


1 Timor et Tremor
2 Birth, Death
3 In Royal Darwin Hospital
4 Timor Woman
5 Aunt Alexandrina's Story
6 Voices
7 Santa Cruz Cemetery, Dili,
November 12 1991
8 Only Those ...
9 Quito's Voice
10 I shall revive the sorrowing heart

Quito script

top 1. Timor et Tremor bottom

Be silent ... Rest your head, Quito ... Mountains, valleys and springs ... Oh Lord, I'm so filled with fear ... Be silent ...

Quito's brother-in-law José Gusmão:
Quito is something special ...

stony ground ... Go to sleep, Quito ...

José Gusmão:
Someone with talent, with creativity, in music ...

Pleasant dreams, Quito ... Be silent, all inanimate things ...

José Gusmão:
And yet someone that had dreams, he had dreams ...

I'm so filled with fear ... Oh Lord ...

José Gusmão:
He said that "I would like to help develop Timorese music, to be able to get people know, you know, our values, through the music"

An elderly Timorese woman - Veronica Pereira - sings a traditional Timorese lament for her country

television reporter Rosemary Hesp:

There's a small but very close-knit community of East Timorese living in Darwin, a community which lives peacefully and generally contributes to the way of life in the Northern Territory capital. But the same East Timorese community has been shattered by the tragic suicide of a young man shot three years ago by police. 26-year-old Francisco Pires survived the shooting only to be charged with the attempted murder of a police officer called to the scene. Francisco never lived to face that charge. He hanged himself a week before the trial on the very day the prosecution applied to drop the charges.

Timor et tremor venerunt super me [fear and trembling have come upon me]
But see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil
Think no evil, feel no evil, smell no evil
Name no evil, know no evil ... no evil

Blind and deaf and dumb, no sight, no voice
Blind and deaf and dumb, no sound, no choice
Silence, all the people
Silence one Francisco Pires
Silence ... for Quito

top 2. Birth, Death bottom

Timorese woman:
Act of creation, the gift of the spiritual
Out of the union of sorrow and mirth
Out of the sacred emerges the secular
Cast from the womb of Mother Earth
Fruit of the merger of discord and difference
A chasm opens ... then ... the birth

Rosemary Hesp (over the real Quito singing one of his own songs):
The tragedy began three years ago: police were called to this house in suburban Darwin where Francisco, diagnosed with schizophrenia, was armed with a knife. He'd slashed his wrists. Police had tried to disarm him: first they threw a brick at him. Then they shot him in the throat.

Quito's sister Lurdes Pires:
He had lots of pressures - and his music was his thing. He told us all the time that he never assaulted a policeman. There was five policemen that assaulted him.

Rosemary Hesp:
Francisco was admitted to the psychiatric ward of Darwin Hospital. But, with the murder charge weighing heavily on his mind, his mental condition worsened.

Lurdes Pires:
My brother committed suicide in a hospital where he was not allowed out. Now I think this has to be investigated. Something has to come out of it. We want to know. We have to know. We have the right to know. And something has to be done. It's injustice - it really is.

singer, singing one of Quito's songs:
My night is falling
And you keep drifting away from me
Now I keep calling
I keep trying so hard to make you see

Oh Lord, I'm so filled with fear
The road to heaven is no longer clear
And I'm losing you
I am losing you ...

It's all b l a c k ... underneath ...

top 3. In Royal Darwin Hospital bottom

I melt ... pieces of me ... my skin: keeping the pieces together ... but everything flies away ... everything pulls me apart ...

Flowers are blue, and so are you
You travel mountains to find it
And it needs shade, promises and promises
But there only no-one

Miserere Xanana - mea culpa
Miserere Quito - mea culpa, mea culpa

Rosemary Hesp:
He was given a fortnightly injection of Modecate, a long-acting tranquilliser, a drug his family claimed only made him worse.

Lurdes Pires:
After he'd taken the needle, he told us he felt like his body was ripping and being cut up with knives or something and all his body was in pain. It was, it was torture for him.

miserere mei, Domine [have pity on me, Lord]
miserere Quito, Domine [have pity on Quito, Lord]

Be silent, mountains, valleys and springs ...
Be silent, stony ground ...
Be silent, be silent ...
Be silent

Eh Foho Ramelau, Foho Ramelau ...

Quito, singing one of his songs:
It's just another sad story
It's just another ended love
It's just another sad story
And they'll come falling from above

Rosemary Hesp:
Francisco hung himself with his own pajama cord on the very same day that the prosecution formally applied to have the murder charge dropped, a decision that neither he not his family were aware of.

Quito's mother Maria Pires:
I gotta live with this, and I hope this couldn't happen to other parents - what Francisco's been through.

top 4. Timor Woman bottom
[lyric by Xanana Gusmão]

Timor woman, your spirit bound in chains
Timor woman, mute horror in your veins
Your feeble honesty your strength, your voice an armament of war
Your fragile chant the hymn of freedom - a song for our beloved Timor

Timor woman, your tears are streams of blood
Timor woman, the streams a river in flood
Your grim determination our hope, your fierce love a call to war
Your face the record of our struggle - our fight for our beloved Timor

Timorese woman:
Maria ... Fatima ... Albertina ... Olinda ... Margarida ... Eulalia ... Neca ... Angelita ... Laca ... Teresa ... Angelica ... Zaida ... Olandina ... Alexandrina ...

top 5. Aunt Alexandrina's Story bottom

A collaborator in East Timor invited Aunt Alexandrina and the whole family to dinner. They were still weak from their time in the bush, but they cleaned the children and went. They thought as they had not fought with guns, just helped with medicine in the bush, they might be offered better conditions. But when they got to the place, they were shown out the back where their graves had already been dug. Alexandrina asked for her husband to be killed first, to save him from the sight, then the children, and herself last so she could be sure the girls were not raped. A Timorese friend said she acted with great dignity. They were all killed, yes, shot: Felisberto, Alexandrina and all five children, the youngest six years old ...

Oh Lord, I'm so filled with fear
(the youngest six years old ...)

The road to heaven is no longer clear
(six years old ...)

I keep falling from above
The wind is squalling
The galling wind from over the sea

Oh Lord!
I'm losing ...
Losing, losing ...

top 6. Voices bottom

Lurdes Pires:
Many times he begged on Dad's feet to please ask them to stop. Dad went there and asked but they said that they couldn't do much about it, that he needed to have the injections. He told Dad many times "Dad, if you don't try to stop them from giving me this medication that I will die."

Mr Pires has a major psychotic disorder in the form of schizophrenia of the hebephrenic type. He showed considerable evidence of thought disorder in the form of bizarre delusional ideas, feelings of guilt over sexual delusions, the presence of auditory hallucinations, mainly in the form of voices ...

Miserere Quito, miserere mei
Whispering voices ...
Remember Aunt Alexandrina: you're responsible, you know - you did it! You did it, Quito
Whispering voices ...
The drugs, Quito: they give you breasts!
Whispering voices ...
In the street, in the trees, in the streams and rivers/the cars, the cars in the street
Christine: you violated her/What did the priest say, Quito? Did you tell him that you couldn't get it up, couldn't get it up, couldn't get it up ... ?

In addition to the voices, Quito showed signs of distractability and inappropriate emotional accompaniments to his delusional ideas. In addition, he showed evidence of confusion, saying that the day was Friday (though it was Wednesday) and the month was Easter ...

Voices, whispering, whispering
Oozing, smooth, seductive voices
In the mind, in the head
Whispers, wisps of words
Pervasive, invasive

He believed he had acute gynaeconastia, thinking he was growing breasts and that he was unable to have an erection ...

squalling, galling, squabbling, gobbling, gabbling, jabbering, jibbing, jibbering, blithering, blathering, blethering, blabbing, blabbering, blubbering, hubble-bubbling, chit chattering, chirruping, chirping, slurping, slathering, slavering, slobbering, sobbing, swabbing, clobbering, clamouring, hammering, harping, carping, snarling, sniping, swiping, griping, groping, doping

radio reporter:
The quiet of this leafy suburban street was shattered just after eight this morning. Police report they were called to a house in Witheden Street, Nikara, to a disturbance. On arrival the uniformed officers found a suspected mental defective in the house with a woman and armed with a large knife.

Dissonant, debilitating, defaecating voices
In the street, in the trees
In the streams and rivers

It was difficult to obtain a coherent account because of his illness, his answers being diverted by his delusional ideas such as his auntie playing witchcraft on him.

American reporter Amy Goodman:
There were thousands of people, and people continued to join them as they marched. Young people, old women in traditional dress of East Timor, young men, young women, little kids, and they marched up to the cemetery.

Melancholic, vitriolic, diabolic voices
In the stars, in the cars
In dreams every night
There are pressuring, perverting, polluting voices
Screaming, screaming
Strident, shrill, discordant voices
In everything, everywhere, in pain, in terror
Raucous, raw, rasping
Inciting, fighting cocks in the head,

Throughout the interview there were a number of references to sexual delusions. He believed, for example, that the prescribed drug was turning him into a woman.

Better off dead
Cock-a-doodle do, cock-a-doodle do - it's Friday, it's Friday
Couldn't get it up, what a cock-up
Nattering, yak yakking, racking, attacking, battering, shattering, black flak
Irreverent, perseverant , perseverant, perseverant, perseverant
voices, infuriating

American reporter Amy Goodman:
They're in massive danger. This morning was just one small part of that. And it is very, very frightening.

Voice, voices
squeezing, suffocating, squeezing ...
Voices, voices


Quito, Quito, Quito, Quito ...

Rosemary Hesp:
Police had tried to disarm him: first they threw a brick at him, then they shot him in the throat.

top 7. Santa Cruz Cemetery, Dili, November 12 1991 bottom

news reporters:
Indonesian soldiers were reported to have opened fire on hundreds of mourners at a cemetery in the capital Dili yesterday ...
... what the Prime Minister said in Parliament today but first, here's an eye-witness account of the killings from an American who was there. Allan Nairn was beaten by Indonesian soldiers ...

American journalist Allan Nairn:
... unarmed civilians who were shrinking back as the soldiers fired into the crowd and we were standing between the crowd and the soldiers. We went up there because we thought that if they saw foreigners there with cameras they would refrain from firing, but it didn't work ...

Amy Goodman:
... tremendous amount of gunfire and there were dozens of people lying in the street. The cemetery had become the entire area, including the street ...

Allan Nairn:
... the soldiers marched out in two directions armed with M16s, and they fired into this crowd of thousands of people in front of the cemetery and bodies were just dropping right and left and they kept on firing.

I discussed the affray with him but could only obtain a fragmentary account. It is doubtful whether he can give a reasonable picture of the events, as for instance he said that he was responsible for the shooting, though this may have been due to the fact that he had been injured and was in Intensive Care for a period.

Quito's sister Laka Pires:
His jaw was completely twisted to the other side and his teeth were just hanging out and he was vomiting blood out of his mouth.

Timorese man:
Voices ...
Dead, silent ...
The sound too awful to be heard
Thoughts too painful to express
Silent voices from a silent mouth
From a silent mouth in a severed head ...

And yet the valleys rumble in resistance
Mutinous mountains moan in pain and grief
Rocks and boulders shriek their indignation
Bamboo groves exclaim in disbelief:

It's all black ... underneath

top 8. Only Those ... bottom

Only those with open eyes can see
Only those with mouths agape can scream
Only those with shut-down minds can disregard the truth
Only those with hardened hearts can turn aside

[repeat previous four lines]

Even those with bloodied legs can stand against the torture
Even those with blinded eyes, deafened ears, and melted lips can hold their heads up high
Even those with broken hands can raise defiant fists
Even those with graves already dug can die with dignity and courage
Even those with shattered minds can feel the pain, can know the blackness underneath

Free East Timor now! No blood for oil!
Free East Timor now! No blood for oil!

news reporters:
Two protesters, who had erected placards near the airport accusing Mr Sutrisno of implication in the Dili Massacre in East Timor, sprinted to meet the cavalcade on its way to the Australian Defence Force Academy. More East Timor activists are expected to try and confront the Vice-President when he visits Governor-General Bill Hayden this afternoon ...
... Hawke's hypocrisy is Australia's hypocrisy, and Gareth Evans, what about a peace talk for East Timor?

Free East Timor now!

radio reporters:
Australia's call for Indonesia to negotiate with the Fretilin resistance in East Timor represents the first significant change in Canberra's approach to East Timor in a decade.
... and to recognise that the rest of the world had an interest in what happened there.
The Prime Minister has called on Indonesia to learn a lesson from the tragic shootings:

Ex-Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke:
For God's sake, let's now look to the future. Please come to an understanding that you haven't got the hearts and minds of the East Timorese.

top 9. Quito's Voice bottom

Listening to my voices
listening to my voices ...

I see the world my own way,
my own logic, my own passion,
fashioning my own rules,
listening to my own voices

Your words, my voices,
your speeches, my choices.

Quito's voices:
You're crazy, Quito - you don't know what you're saying, it's all in your imagination, in your imagination, it's all in your imagination, who do you think you are?
We've all got problems - what makes you think yours are so special? Who do you think you are? Who do you think you are? W ho do you think you are?
You should be getting a job, getting a job - act like a man! Act like a man! Getting a job - act like a man! Who do you think you are?
Your guitar - you're wasting your time sitting in your room making up songs that are useless, useless, useless, useless, who do you think you are?
Pull yourself together, Quito, get a grip on yourself, get your act together, get your act together, get your act together, who do you think you are?

My pride, your power;
my rage, your reason;
my manhood, your manners;
my lust, your love.

Like the winds that come from the sea
your words seep through my skin
my pores, my poor dissolving skin;
my raw dissected parts,

my bleeding holes:
breaches in the wall,
my wall against the wind,
through which intruders swarm:

alien thoughts too awful to believe,
assailing words, rampaging voices,
drugs that give me breasts,
frightened men with guns ...

Ceiling fans revolve as chopper blades,
soccer balls turn into severed heads,
cries of wonder into shrieks of horror:
body, mind and soul invaded.

But hear the voices! The music of the body,
the rhythm of the blood!
I am the cock that killed the king!
I shall defy the winds that come from the sea!


But hear the voices! The music of the body,
the rhythm of the blood!
I am the cock that killed the king!
I shall defy the winds that come from the sea!


But hear the voices! The music of the body,
the rhythm of the blood!
I am the cock that killed the king!
I shall defy the winds that come from the sea!


But hear the voices! The music of the body,
the rhythm of the blood!
I am the cock that killed the king!
I shall defy the winds that come from the sea!

------------------------------------------ singers:
Cock-a-doodle do, Quito

José Gusmão:
Dreams! He had dreams!

Rosemary Hesp:
The Pires family has been devastated. Life for them has already been a never-ending struggle. They fled their home in East Timor, that forgotten little country north-west of Darwin, in 1975 during the Indonesian invasion. Thousands were killed, and all of Darwin's close-knit East Timorese community, including the Pires family, lost relatives and loved ones in the long and bitter war which followed. That fighting spirit is alive in all facets of the Pires family's life.

My night is falling, and you keep drifting away from me
Now I keep calling, I keep trying so hard to make you see
Oh Lord, I'm so filled with fear, the road to heaven is no longer clear
And I'm losing you, I am losing you ...

Rest your head, Quito
Go to sleep, Quito
Pleasant dreams, Quito
Slumber deep, Quito

top 10. I shall revive the sorrowing heart bottom

Terror and trembling, Timor et tremor
Torture and torment me
Pester and punish me
Bother and besiege me
Voices in the head are calling to me

But I am blind and deaf and dumb
All feeling gone
Mind and soul are numb
I can't go on
Silence all the voices
Peacefulness and calm and stillness

Hushed is the sweet quiet of the dark grave

A painful end, a peaceful new beginning
The ritual chant, the sacrifice, the feast
Will guide me to the mountain
And from its heights I shall command the living
Insubstantial, I shall direct the silent mouths
And bind the speaking mouths one to one

In destruction I shall create
In desolation I shall reach out
In decay I promise fertility
In death I shall revive the sorrowing heart ...

Timorese woman:
Repair the contrast, return to the spiritual
Sunder the union of sorrow and mirth
Out of the secular, into the infinite
Enter the tomb, the fona of Earth

Sever the soul and reside with the ancestors
Reintegration, renewal, rebirth

Timorese man:
But the dumb can hear the thunder
The deaf can see the rain
The blind can speak and understand
And all can know the pain
Of a body torn asunder,
Of a devastated land.

None can hope for justice
No-one can be free
While the searing, squealing, squalling wind
Still blows from over the sea

Quito, blown by the wind
The wind in Timor that blew you to this land
It stole your soul, controlled your heart
And coldly blew your mind apart

In all your songs the words never scanned
The fear and trembling were upon you
The darkness fell upon you on every hand
We know, Quito, we could not understand

A cry, despair, a final breath
A sigh, a prayer, a death

1994, 1997
Martin Wesley-Smith Peter Wesley-Smith
e-mail: mwsmith@shoalhaven.net.au e-mail: peterws@shoalhaven.net.au


Tall Poppies Records

PO Box 373, Glebe NSW 2037 Australia
tel: 61 (0)2 9552 4020; fax: 61 (0)2 9552 4395
e-mail Belinda Webster at


links to East Timor sites

loro sae

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