Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun is the second studio album by post-rock band Red Sparowes, released in September 2006.
Despite having no lyrics, the album (by way of its song titles) follows the story of the Great Leap Forward in Mao Zedong-era China, more specifically recounting the Great sparrow campaign, a mass killing of sparrows (along with rats, flies and mosquitoes) that fed on a portion of the harvest and were seen as pests. Peasants were encouraged to bang pots and pans to scare sparrows into continuing flight, eventually killing them from exhaustion. Whilst the harvest of the year after the campaign was larger, there was a massive rise in locust numbers in the late 1950s, as a result of the significantly lower population of sparrows, a major predator of the locust.
Along with other programs in the Great Leap Forward, the great sparrow campaign caused widespread famine where, between 1959 and 1961, 38 million people died of starvation.
"The Great Leap Forward Poured Down Upon Us One Day Like a Mighty Storm, Suddenly and Furiously Blinding Our Senses."
"We Stood Transfixed in Blank Devotion as Our Leader Spoke to Us, Looking Down on Our Mute Faces with a Great, Raging, and Unseeing Eye."
"Like the Howling Glory of the Darkest Winds, This Voice Was Thunderous and the Words Holy, Tangling Their Way Around Our Hearts and Clutching Our Innocent Awe."
"A Message of Avarice Rained Down and Carried Us Away into False Dreams of Endless Riches."
"'Annihilate the Sparrow, That Stealer of Seed, and Our Harvests Will Abound; We Will Watch Our Wealth Flood In.'"
"And by Our Own Hand Did Every Last Bird Lie Silent in Their Puddles, the Air Barren of Song as the Clouds Drifted Away. For Killing Their Greatest Enemy, the Locusts Noisily Thanked Us and Turned Their Jaws Toward Our Crops, Swallowing Our Greed Whole."
"Millions Starved and We Became Skinnier and Skinnier, While Our Leaders Became Fatter and Fatter."
"Finally, as That Blazing Sun Shone Down Upon Us, Did We Know That True Enemy Was the Voice of Blind Idolatry; and Only Then Did We Begin to Think for Ourselves."