This is my voice.

Whenever I get down and lose hope, these lyrics pick me up and get me to raise my voice or continue to fight against adversity.

By Shane Koyczan and the Short Story Long

Lyrics:

This is my voice, there are many like it, but this one is mine.

and it’s a fine line when you’re trying to define the finer points of politics

politics being a latin word

“poli” meaning many

“tics” meaning blood sucking butt lumps

you see too many live in countries where it’s bullets instead of ballots

where gavels fall like mallets when held in the hands of those whose judgments

can be bought as easily as children can be taught to covet

and the only ones willing to speak up are forced to live so far beneath the radar

that the underground is considered above it

this is for the Ho Ci Min’s and the Michael Collins.

for the Marquis de Sades and the muted gods.

This is my voice, there are many like it, but this one is mine.

Chorus: we’re not always right, but we’ve got the right to be wrong.
we’re not always free, so this is just a short story long.

this is my voice, there are many like it, but this one is mine.

and this time it’s for the sons and daughters

who watch their mothers and fathers drown in shallow waters while

panning for the “American dream” in the polluted creek called the mainstream.

This is for the homeless people sleeping on steam vents,

making makeshift tents out of cardboard and old trash,

trying to catch 40 winks in between the crash of car wrecks

risking their necks by surviving another day so that they can starve

so that famine can carve their body into a corpse before their heart stops beating

so that men in a boardroom meeting

can make it harder for them to get welfare, health care,

it’s no wonder some of them pawn off their own wheelchair

and every time I walk ‘em by, I can’t help but feel at fault,

that maybe I didn’t search myself hard enough

for the control alt “s” so that I could save the world.

Or at least this little girl curled up into a ball

I’ve spent most of my life throwing compassion back like a fish that’s too small.

Gotta cash in my reality checks. drop her some spare fantasies

cause I’ve got three separate degrees from different universities,

but the most valuable thing I ever learned

was to believe people when they say “Please.”

This is my voice, there are many like it, but this one is mine.

Chorus: We’re not always right, but we’ve got the right to be wrong.
We’re not always free, so this is just a short story long

You ever been real, been reamed out, picked on, put down, ever been ever been rowdy at the sound when your own heart breaks, not to take the time, to take the time. listen.
ever been seen and not heard, you ever blurred the lines for those who tried to find some way to define what you are, as if you were far from them, at least at the heart of them its more than a part of them.
you ever been told you’re too young or too old, and there’s always that line when you’re willing to walk by, and you gotta receive and then beat the deadlines. so don’t try to define us cause this time we’ re fine. so don’t try to define us cause this time we’re fine.  so don’t try to define us cause this time we’ re fine. We’re pissed and we’re loud and now you know why.

Chorus: We’re not always right, but we’ve got the right to be wrong.
We’re not always free, so this is just a short story long

Don’t tell me there are no heroes. This is for them, the women and the men.

For Helen Keller who against all odds found a voice.

For the choice Veronica Guerin made.

For Martin Luther King who stayed just long enough to share a dream with us.

This is for that day on the bus for sister Rosa Parks.

This for the Joan of Arcs who believe even in the face of sparks becoming flame.

The political game that Louis Riel refused to play.

This is for the day the Dalai Lama finally goes home.

For Dr. Jeffrey Wigand who alone stared down big tobacco.

For Nelson Mandela who continues to go the extra mile.

This is for the trial that finally found a man guilty of shooting Medger Evers dead.

This is for everything Malcolm X said,

remembered by athletes who left the Olympics double-fisted.

For Arthur Miller, blacklisted for calling a witch hunt what it was.

For Galileo locked up because he said the earth was round.

For the Two Live crew who found the sound that got them banned in the USA.

And imagine if we could still hear John Lennon play.

This is for the someone who stood up today and said, “No!”.

For Edward R. Murrow who shut down McCarthy.

For Salmon Rushdie, Mahatma Ghandi,

You, me, this city, this country.

We will always have a choice.

When you stand up to be counted.

Tell the world, “This is my voice, There are many like it, but this one is mine”.

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