NOENEMIES

by Flobots

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03:59
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03:36
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03:55
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03:41
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05:07
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16.

credits

released May 5, 2017

Brer Rabbit - Vocals
Jonny 5 - Vocals
Kenny Ortiz - Drums, Troublebuckets

Very Special Guests:
Gabriel Otto - Electric Bass, Upright Bass, Keys, Moog, Electric Guitar, Vocals
Mackenzie Gault - Viola (3,5,6,7,8,12,14,16), Vocals (3,8)
Serafin Sanchez - Saxophone (6), Keys (5,6,16)
Tad Lusk- Acoustic and Electric Guitars (3,4,5,6,7,8,11,14,16)

Additional performances by:
Tom Hagerman - Violin (3,6,8,12,14,16)
Evan Orman - Cello (3,6,8,12,14,16)
Charlie Mertens - Upright bass (3,8,14)

Eva Holbrook - Vocals (4)
Spirit of Grace (Shamae Matthews, Tonicia London, Christin Grant, C. Larea Edwards)
with Maxwell McKee - Vocals (2,3,7,12,14,16)
Suzi Q - Vocals (16)
Denver Glenarm Singers (11)
Sallie Baker - Vocals (1)
Chris “#2” Barker - Vocals (11)
Colorado Children’s Chorale’s 303 Choir - Vocals (13), Ad libs (2,4,15)

Hugh Ragin - Trumpet (6,9,14)
Tom Gershwin - Trumpet (9,14)
Adam Stone - Keys (2)
Dave Flomberg - Trombone (9,14)

Track 12 contains a sample of “Antioch” as performed by the Alabama Sacred Harp Singers
Track 14 contains material originally written and recorded by Pan Astral
Track 16 contains material originally written and recorded by Suzi Q

___


Produced by Gabriel Otto
Recorded and engineered by Xandy Whitesel at Mighty Fine Studios, Denver CO
All songs mixed and mastered by Jason Livermore at The Blasting Room, Fort Collins CO

All string and horn arrangements by Gabriel Otto
All strings and horns recorded by Todd Divel at Silo Studios
Vocals recorded by Owen Trujillo at Enlightofme Studios, Thornton CO
Additional vocals on (2,3,7,12,14,16) recorded by Jesus Rodriguez at Youth On Record’s Youth Media Studio, Denver CO
Additional vocals on (4,6,9,12,14) recorded at Mighty Fine Studios
Additional vocals on (4,7,8,12,14) recorded at Turquoise Studio
Additional vocals on (3,5) recorded at The Blasting Room
Additional vocals on (2,11) recorded at The Space, Pittsburgh PA
Additional viola on (16) recorded at Jamie’s Room Studios
Additional guitar on (9) recorded at Turquoise Studio

Special thanks to our touring players: Sean Blanchard, Kris Becker, Sarah Hubbard, Serafin Sanchez

We were so fortunate to work with all of the musicians and professionals listed above. Thanks also to the following people who were critical to bringing this album to life: Carrie Lombardi, Jason Mastrine, Alex Dunne, Meg Ryan, Tony Kent, Travis Branam, Daryl Walker, Tung Pham, Anne Dunlap, Art Jones, Sharon Kermiet, Armando Lopez, Jesse Elliot, Garey Kennebrew, Lolita Casteñeda, Hugo Rodriguez, Tyler Bauer, Anne Lederer, Lea Thompson, Sean Edwin, Jennifer Brackett

The spirit of this album was nurtured and elevated by an extended network of people and organizations who have shown us love in the process, including Capitol Heights Presbyterian Church, The Spirituals Project, Momentum, Youth On Record, Gora Gora Orkestar, 2MX2, Wonderbound, Veterans of Hope Project, Colorado Creative Industries, and the growing team of NOENEMIES songleaders.

Our sincere gratitude to our families and friends for their constant love and support, and for helping us to be our best selves.

A very special thank you to our Kickstarter supporters whose support enabled us to have full control of the creative process, and gave us the flexibility and freedom to make this album exactly what it needed to be.

In memoriam: Marshawn McCarrel, Vincent Harding, Grace Lee-Boggs

Album art by Dustin Dahlman and Josiah Werning. Album design by Josiah Werning.

Management by Hatchery 17
Publicity by LiveLoud Media


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© 2017 Flobots Music, LLC

Made in the USA. All Rights Reserved.
Unauthorized duplication violates US copyright law and international treaties.

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Track Name: Philia (prelude)
let me fail and falter
let my heartbeat alter
let me fall and fumble
let my soul be humble
Track Name: Failure Games
my brother we lost you to the waters that have always lied to us
i lost you thought my hands were quick but never quick enough
i lost you to demons that have grown up in the crib with us
and i wasn't in your corner when those lies came to fisticuffs
my other were all born with a dragon branded on our shoulder blades
scars are invisible
but my spine knows the weight
all of us in the struggle don’t need a diagnosis
when depression is a constant
we all know but do not notice
the diplomacy of monsters
those we hold up
are we lifting them up
or are we tying them down to the altar
we anoint our leaders young
but if i had been there in the lobby
would you have made it to the balcony
how many hands do we need
to do right by the mouths you feed
the position of the ugly sun
has heat to kill the shade away
dead songs of unwillingly servants
laid still but still lay awake
no candles on the deathday cake
couldn’t find it on the schedule
couldn’t pull the strings to get it going
cuz i’m all out of geppetto moves
handcuffs and statutes
strange fruit makes bad juice
state house and don’t shoot
the solution of medusa
trying to turn us into statues
if i could only make these hands loose
your mother's voice is the only one that names you
it claims you

i definitely don’t want you to feel the way that you do

my calendar still knows your name
so happy birthday time traveller
see the frozen flames
tried to apply first aid
when challenger first rose to fame
i was in the third grade
they fell to earth when explosion reigned
melted whatever snows remained
now the chasm is river sized like
arizona openings
now the pattern is giving highs
like serotonin dopamine
citywide black and blue regalia
trade apologies like a boat exchange
say all mine i’ll say all yours
master of human failure
overseen the underhanded
fumbling like i’m from the panthers
i don’t understand cuz i had a hundred grand plan
now i want an answer
living life boastfully
should i get rid of my hopes and dreams that didn’t die
give advice
this isn’t like it was supposed to be
Track Name: Blood in the River
there is blood in the river

how could you wear that
don’t you even care that
aren’t you aware that
someone may be scared that
you might belong to
don’t know if you’re going to
please tell me that you’d never want to
even if they taunt you
don’t let the demons haunt you
i know you know that it’d be wrong to
even after everything we’ve gone through
you’re not alone there are so many who are drawn to
the other side you wanna place your burdens onto
i know your blood is in the river that’s what bonds you
i hear your voice in everyone you sing this song to

you wanna talk
or talk about it
i'm on top of the mountain shouting
the tears in the river are
accounting for this downpour
the blood floods the gutter
the gutter struggle is where the blood reeks
and they couldn't find him
where the shots and the slugs speak
gun me in the streets in broad daylight
king, what was wrong is now right
and the right is now wrong
and the lambs no longer silent
keep on singing this song
when the people fiend
never knowing that they can be strong
don't know the names of these psalms
but the make of these bonds
is the same
dang cable that could table aslan
i'd be lying if i said my pride
could never be wrong
that's why we wade in the water
but it’s staining the clothes
cuz the blood of the slaughter it remains
on our souls
so tides of tomorrow is where we're placing our hopes

i know you’ve felt the trauma
witnessed struggle heaped upon
as raw emotions buried deep as bodies broken speak
and
on this earth it’s i alone
live alone die alone
looking for a flag to provide a home
listen for a call hear dialtone
but i swear
despite anything i think say or do
or try to express but don’t know how to
despite everything i sing about you
i would be incomplete without
Track Name: Carousel
in the dead of night
deep inside my cell
saw the brightest light
shine from somewhere else
as it came to life
felt it cast its spell
and the carousel was turning

i’m on a carousel

middle of the dark
i’m lying all alone
little green spark
twinkle shining from my phone
i don’t know what i’m searching for
but why not
wishing on a star my hands are white hot
now i’ve got all the colors in a whirl
revolving while i spin and swirl
everybody follow me
follow me
cuz i’ve got all the colors in the world
tour all these sites like i’m on a boat
float maneuvering my eye site high on a post
ghosts illuminate the night like
two minute lite bright
in tune with the zeitgeist
the movement is so human and lifelike
forget the small talk
gimme the festival slot
the best that ya’ll got
leave me up here
on my pedestal
while the rest of ya’ll watch the spectacle
please don’t let me fall off

i have never seen you but i know you’re over there

we are aliens and odd ones
orphaned by chosen boundaries
adorned in algorithms
the schisms of hidden industries
in the streets we all are strangers
gaze in the faces disconnect
we form we click repeat deform
and in defeat
we disrespect
we are all those orphans
who can’t forgive our families
a tribe that's not divided
just blinded
by our realities
our scars are what bind us
we toss and scream and lay awake
the antidote of the in between
is to put our dreams on layaway

all i wanted was to win at everything and never fail
all i wanted was to live my life upon a carousel
Track Name: Quarantine
circle up circle up
civil servant serpents
peace we demanding to stir it up
stirrups on our certainty
the tide will turn we’re turning up
we're turning tides no turning us
the tide is high y'alls term is up
don’t look now the
surf is up
the surge is us
when the sickness is pervasive
i can see the sails
of conquistadors
and slave ships
the vectors lie adjacent
and spread by our complacence
our media
rephrases our pain as entertainment

cuz fire and the flame
is old claims exasperation
and by subtle name
the slave is just an entertainer
and the field and stage are gauges of containment
the streets change to graves
when the titans clash
to reinstate their status
hate us but
no we’re not stopping
could not be flummoxed by lynch mob of hobgoblins
so bring your mastodons and man of wars
dodge them like a matador
we at the door of corporate greed
were calling up a quarantine

we need a quarantine
this ancient war machine is broken

this is live from the center of the hive
you left an open wound now we’re spilling out the sides
the hornet and the wasps fly united in the storm
we’ll look back on this moment as the moment we were born
let it be known
crush the demons of the past
we stand together now raise an army from the ash
and call upon whoever hears the message to react
and all as one we smash the gears of death and push it back
now if you only feel it one time
bet you felt it now
women children frontline platinum melt it down
eyes dripping milk as they try to smoke us out
we can see the sunshine behind the funnel cloud
so heed the science
we are spiritually defiant
seeking everything we’ve never had by severing compliance
combine it in a heavenly alliance
reunited
no longer keeping silent
we’ve awoken
sleeping giants
Track Name: American Dreams
the whole world is watching
the whole world is watching
something in my family tree is rotten

ancestors so grotesque
plans of destiny to go west
manifest bleeds protest
10 million rest in peace below depths
oh no
oh yes
no struggle no progress
bend the rules run the jewels
40 acres and a mule and no less
who claims to know best though
who’s trained to protect those
some of those who burn crosses also arraign and arrest those
some of those current losses this fiscal year are exceptional
they’ve got more guns than destro
make you disappear like presto
i wrote this rap to pray
for another life castaway
now that’s more settlement cash to pay
but that won’t bring daddy back today
that’s just more petals at the grave
the moonlight saw that display
so what more can i do my god
when there’s nothing left to say
meet me at the gate and sing kumbaya

scheming for a way to stay up
dreaming of the day i wake up

momma was a bloody knuckled valedictorian
poppa was a comet from the quarry and tobacco fields
cover me in notes of old hickory and moses
the cotton linen blends the benefits of forbidden yields
black feet move without reservations
our bodies wall the streets
we resume our occupations
claims of common sense
more cautious than caucasian condiments
black cowboys are real
but they ain’t myths
black avengers show up before the crowd’ll get pissed
and the milk goes as sour as a counterfeit kiss
we can still make a pound of biscuits
get some fish
and feed a crowd of misfits
where the lyricists spit
the merits of the heretic
is where the patriot lives
and we hate to relive
what it takes to forgive
can’t forget what we did
better yet let’s amend
to protect next of kin
by accepting our sins
Track Name: Rattle The Cage
i can’t get my computer to boot cancel everything
there’s an active shooter on a new campus everyday
what’s that have to do with me
my movement would never take
anybody’s life
what i have to do to prove it to you whatever say
we are not alike
we are not alike
look at me look at you
i can see what you do from the evil i separate
look at you look at me
i maneuver and flee from you people i segregate
get it straight
we are not alike
i don’t peddle hate
i just go to the booth and i meditate
and i breathe and i eat and i puke and i defecate

fire in the sky
masses at the border
shadows in the night
faces of disorder
rivers made of blood
skeletons in closets
bodies in the mud
torturers on crosses
wretched of the earth
undeserved sentence
reckoning of curses
long awaited vengence
executed messengers piled up upon the entrance
clamor of the stenches threaten overwhelm the senses

there’s an active shooter on the news and i speculate
that it has to do with something you bastards said today
see your attitudes and backwards views they miseducate
it is not all right
all the chatter you decide to spew when you agitate
til they slaughter life
it is not all right
you’re not speaking the truth
i can see what you do to the people
make them afraid
look at you look at me
see your movement is evil
we need to eradicate
get away
it is not all right that you peddle hate
you’re the reason i rally and rattle cage
cuz you’re leaving the people not breathing and dead afraid
Track Name: Buried Alive
each movement that i make could make a movement
stress fatigue
each movement that i make could
glass gun deadly recipe
movement that i make could make a move
edge of the precipice
each movement that i make could make a
trigger finger press release

now i know you heard of me
i know you saw
i know you’re cursing me
round of applause
like i don’t deserve to breathe
life when he’s not
like why was i personally trying to be god
now some of us murder and some of us lie
but i am not one of them
i am not one of them
why
pull out a gun to survive
fire a gun and then die a thousand deaths
if you really knew me you would know
i am afraid of the dark
if you really knew me you would know
try to be brave in my heart
but monologue monologue stereotype
i am not one of them
i am not one of them
why
pull out a gun to survive
fire a gun and then die
buried alive

buried alive buried alive buried alive
don’t let me be

yea shadows I battled and fell short
hands up and lay down for a day
yea yea yea
rattled by the snakes that don’t show up and support
get tread on with nothing to say
the flag doesn’t sway without a plentiful breeze
i rather be buried than swing from a tree
and all of the yous are just different me’s
wanna speak less cuz I am choosing to see
this epiphany
in infancy diplomacy is listening
to the child in each of us scream
a little bit of wisdom is a dangerous thing
and I don’t give a dam
without a militant eve
i’m deep but I’m not

if you could ever know
the thoughts i've known and seen what i have seen
all the spiteful stones that i’ve thrown did not protect me
i want you to know these heavy stones nearly crushed me
if i’d only known that heavy load that brought me low would help me grow i wouldn’t be
Track Name: Dancing in the Light of a Burning City (Phoenixes)
dancing in the light while the city still burns
different kings still waiting for their turn
i never owned what i’ve never earned
but i know that i will with you

dance in the fire light
wonder what this side is like
pour the oil on the rising flames
and wonder what dying’s like
i more like dionys
coming back again
and i’m trying twice
face the mic
face the life
now i’m just facing those flashing lights
mm. like a flash-lights
more like a lightsaber
don’t fear the father
ain’t been a slave
don’t fear no darth vader
naw, i just mob daily
i’m up on my intercom baby
calling out to the stars and in the darkest hour
which one of y’all will be my savior

i’m on fire i’m okay

dumpsters flame still flicker in the dead of night
red and white
see the rust and embers charred and bleeding still bleeding
i can’t go home
hear shots and bickerings ricochet
and dissipate
if i can’t find anyone to believe in i’m leaving
okay
i am a sleeping giant
deep inside i want peace and quiet
when unheard i may speak in riots
when unhinged the country’s on fire
when unquenched the thirst brings empires
to their knees and unspins the spires
pillars fall when umpteen town criers
become choirs unseat the sires
sirens blare with unmet desires
justice rolls down like muddy waters
i’m a mouthful of sea change
make you rethink everything prior
i was born a young boy james laurie
silver spoon on my tongue same story
you’d assume from what’s come before me
but not everything’s honkey dory

i’m on fire

born of the ashes
heir to the flame
lit by the fire
we look the same
Track Name: Antioch (interlude)
when my father handed me the lash
taught me false tradition
separate my family white from black
consecrate division
i was young and ignorant of grace
lived as they had taught me
down in the river
i claim my sins
cast the devil off me
Track Name: Pray
pray the pale white devil back to hell
blessed be my witness
pray the pale white devil back to hell
cry for my forgiveness

when the demons beckoned me to come
why did i believe them
named my brother as three fifths a man
left his body bleeding
claimed my sister as their property
used her for their pleasure
pray the pale white devil back to hell
cleanse my sins forever

look at me and what do you see
see somebody up in a tree
saying don't lie to us
at the worst of times
i see nursery rhymes too anonymous to believe
i'd rewrite them posthumously
but we can't wipe the blood from these leaves
it's inside of us
like a demon spawn
conceived deep beyond
pray to god for us to be free
i first caught him in the valley where the water was tainted
followed on the map and saw the spot where it was painted
the bottle was ancient
fiddle with the folds of a riddle made sacred
7 million dollars out of only one sl------p
from the mystery run
screaming oh my god it's begun
now we read prophecies of our progeny
and the monsters they have become
what the hell have we done

pray the pale white devil back to hell
make my soul unbroken
pray the pale white devil back to hell
let my eyes be opened

hip hop is transphobic

i speak the statement seeking its irrelevance
when it’s said the further from hell it gets
so why call blm some terrorists
we did the same with martin
and worse with the suffragettes

first resistance
forgiveness is coming next
before the wing is the cell of the chrysalis
the catalyst to something else
they'd pay attention
if i eliminated a mona lisa
when god’s masterpieces are
killed with increasing frequency
imitate immortals just to get someone to listen
we are building up a world that changes shame into contrition
we have named our mission
praying not condemning
blood relations are craving witness
liberation from this nation’s sickness
we will win with no malice and no militias

speak truth to your neighbor
for we are all members of one body
be angry and sin not
do not let the sun go down on your wrath
nor give place to the devil
our weapon will not be righteousness
our tool will be humanity

pray the pale white devil back to hell
shout him from the heavens
usher in the souls long cast aside
beg for resurrection
turn and face your savior eye to eye
stand for your conviction
pray the pale white devil back to hell
til the lord is risen
Track Name: Voices of the Dead
when everything we thought
meets everything we know
and everything up top
meets everything below
when every plainclothes cop
meets every angry soul
and all getaways are stopped
and all debt is paid in full

then everything we’re never saying
and never said will yet remain
hidden shame and bitter pain
will fill the air and weathervane
‘til by and by the sky will cry
with bitter pain so let it rain
let it stain whichever angels
seek to be forever changed

message reads rest in piece
sleep in solace
f police except celena hollis
say her name
and pay respects to her daughter
black woman cop
but none of that was why he shot her
he was scared
i don’t wanna die
i was there too
when you’re buried alive nobody can hear you
but spirits can
there’s more souls in the cosmos
more peace plans than oslos gacacas quilombos
dig a path tunnel out
i sail boats and drop hidden tracks
for the underground railroad
there’s blood in the river
but moses parted waters
martin at the mountain top
followed higher orders that required slaughter
if it it please the court or please the lord
what’s the procedure for the ouija board
get me vincent harding
they said he’s in the garden
singing with the holy ghost
squeezing our hands tight
til all of us are fully woke

all is said and done

crisis up ahead
lift this up instead
voices of the dead
voices of the dead
rise above the threat
lift this up instead
voices of the dead
voices of the dead

i put my hands up
not a seeking an escape
i put my hands up to better seize the day
outstretched to carpe diem
carpal tunnels
to mausoleums
trying to write a way to the voices
of my heroes
tearful
i was stronger when your hands were on my shoulders
taught me
to be a warrior before a soldier
you got me
and that’s why i’ll push this boulder forward
many hands light work
that’s why all of us are chosen
so stop drop and roll out
stop frisked and hostile
when the police game is ving rhames
my contacts go nazghul
when i pocket dial
i ring wraiths
black ops in the talent pools
brothers dropping out like
under funded high school
so less jails more doors
why excel in failure
losing ground every since four score
and hold the door
stuck in a loop that predicts the final scene
but the very worst of them won’t get the best of me
with archery able arrow sight
big voice from narrow mics
knowing i am clothed in the feathers from a sparrow’s flight
fearing no fahrenheit
parallel or paralyzed
building up a world where i can hear your voice as clear as mine

and where the rainbow stopped
that’s where they gained control
and left him hanging on a cross
and left her laying cold
now everything we lost
and everything we stole
awakens ancient gods
who make our language whole
so let us sing the lettering
and let it ring no better thing
visions of coretta king
delivered life instead of dreams
and by and by the sky will cry
for all of us so let it rain
let it stain the feet of those
who seek to be forever changed!

a voice mail from the summer of your senior year
a secret note read aloud you didn’t mean to hear
a hundred windows in a ten story building side
a hundred stories go dark when you kill the lights
the shadow of another person living parallel
a glimpse of somebody riding on a carousel
a vision of a better life than i chose today
the time you told me that love never goes away
Track Name: Temimut (interlude)
soothe my soul and open my eyes
fill me with the fire inside
lift my spark up to the divine
elevate me higher and rise
Track Name: Related
i am one in 7 billion searching for my family
now you’ve come innocent love
my ears can hear my eyes can see

we are related we’re arm in arm
we are unarmed
we are related we’re arm in arm in arm

and i’m overwhelmed by so much misery
see people i know see people i love see people divided up so bitterly
watch out for the enemy enemy enemy enemy enemy preaching it like a liturgy
and i pray for the day when you open the gates and say you finally have forgiven me

my cell vibrates and i know it’s not you
i am now somebody who you will not talk to
how could i expect you to forgive me
after all our history i had to act atrocious
remember hugging big trees back in nacogdoches
couldn’t let go
just couldn’t let go
this is how we live
holding onto memories
searching for my families
roots trees planted deep
grew up into enemies
now
my cell vibrates cuz i’m singing off key
locked in a box
like every day i wake up in the body of an animal
i know it’s not me
but i’m accountable
nails to a cross
reach back touch the moment i was innocent
fold it to my chest
clutch and hold it til my sins are cleansed
benefit 7 billion souls with my penitence
open up the penitentiary gates now
send us in

flying on a phoenix path
been down and beaten back
born in the ash been the first to come in last
been the last
one standing
with a a match to light the candle
on the downside of up say
radhaghast to let them in my castle
cast aside the old code words
greet the people at the gates
we are blood others
found the secrets of love
beneath the sequence of our shame
the weakness of these chains
is when we make them visible
reclaim our greatness
when we break them
miracles
go higher than
di oxy ribo nucleic acid
our hearts and songs our greatest asset
scarred by the latest hazard
cynically suited up in a hazmat
spiritual
battle
temple grandin with the cattle
prod the people against
greed
we need another seattle
chiefly
leading hands
we can be peter pan
and dancing with our shadows

this whole world is turning all the time
a revolution every day
in the sun
innocent blood
is drying on the ground of it
Track Name: Sleeping Giant
i am a sleeping giant
there lives a riot in my bones

whiplashing masters
rehashes the bad strategies
i’m abandoning the branding
and brandishing new prophecies
slashing the patterns
with passionate new qualities
with outstanding tantrums
so large there's no stopping we
abolish oligopolies
toppling class sovereignty
clashing rapids are habits
of haven'ts who had it up to here
tears build the river swells
empire strikes and we rebel
alliance of a living wage

to quench the flames of living hells

i was on the corner of no one cares
heard something rumbling over there
like a snare drum with a soldier's flare
like a river run coming over here
see the screaming crowd saying everything goes
extremely loud and incredibly close
cracks in the ground as they steadily approach
now the wave of sound surrounds and unrolls
the waters unfrozen frost soaks my kneecaps
while they unfold like washed up debris stacks
wall to wall floats the feedback
anonymous quotes we can say
for all the lost souls presente
wade in the streets
march forth in the rushes
feel the unstoppable force as it gushes
people wake up
to the heartbeat of the
rhythm in the river as it roars with justice

now i see what i am

i am a sleeping giant
there lives a riot in my bones

from mississippi to cairo i hear footsteps
from wall street to oklahoma hear footsteps
from chiapas to rojava i hear footsteps
from lynchburg to nova scotia i hear footsteps

whirlwind reaped and whirlwind sown
people rule don't need a throne
cannot stop what they don't know
as above so below
rising
climbing
mighty
defiant
breaking ground and breaking silence
now i can sing what i am

from cochabamba to marwar i hear footsteps
from the maldives to new orleans i hear footsteps
from ferguson to sacred stone i hear footsteps
from indomeni to the florida keys i hear footsteps

from oak flats to palestine i hear footsteps
from death row to jubilee i hear footsteps
from nazareth to galilee i hear footsteps
from us and them to you and me i hear footsteps

i am a sleeping giant
there lives a riot in my bones
i am a mouthful of sea
i am a quiet indigo dawn