Steve Coffee, Songwriter


©2004 Stephen R Coffee

If there’s one thing that the fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Muslims agree on these days it's that we are engaged in a religious war. On the assumption that it’s a wise practice to “know your enemy,” I offer here a spare and uncomfortably familiar imagining of a Guantanamo detainee's encounter with Christian love. The deep cynicism, evidenced as much by the Appalachian styling as by the lyric, is my own, a luxury the prisoner probably cannot afford.

Here performed by the Harley String Band

Finalist, Mid-Atlantic Song Contest.

Honorable Mention, Great American Song Contest.

The stars for my blanket

I lie here on the ground

The sun’s the only thing

Allowed to move around

I don’t cause no trouble

Don’t even make a sound

Could be years to go, Guantanamo

A few more years to go, Guantanamo


I fought for my country

I fought the infidel

I heard Allah calling

Like the ringing of a bell

But now I found Jesus

Right here in Christian Hell

He loves me this I know, Guantanamo

Jesus loves me this I know, Guantanamo


The blue Caribbean

It soothes me in my rage

Its tropical breezes

Find me in my cage

An endless vacation

To pay the sinner’s wage

Everybody sing Swing Low, Guantanamo

A few more years to go, Guantanamo

Everybody sing Swing Low

More songs for your listening pleasure:

Indian Joe

Where are your people? From Rain Follows the Plow


A lonely voice from the borderlands

To the Light

Close encounters with the past--and the inevitable future

Deepwater Requiem

Epic folk tale treatment of the Horizon disaster

The Impossible Sky

Ruth finds beauty in a harsh environment. From Rain Follows the Plow

Castle of Thorns

The distance between here and there

Going to the Ukraine

Those Ukraine girls make me scream and holler.

Praise the Drugs and Pass the Ammunition

Regarding the War on Sanity

Mert's Mix

An appetizing Okie Rap

The Writing on the Wall

Song and video about visiting my dad's old home place.

The Foundation

a momentary detour on the way into town

Give It Up if I Wanted To

for all you addicts

Island in Time

would you believe, bossa nova?


Still relevant, fifteen years later