Other People Say…

This is where I put cool things other people say, write and perform.
   
My I.Q.
by Ani DiFranco

When I was four years old
they tried to test my I.Q.
they showed me a picture
of 3 oranges and a pear
they said,
which one is different?
it does not belong
they taught me different is wrong
but when I was 13 years old
I woke up one morning
thighs covered in blood
like a war
like a warning
that I live in a breakable takeable body
an ever-increasingly valuable body
that a woman had come in the night to replace me
deface me
see,
my body is borrowed
yeah, I got it on loan
for the time in between my mom and some maggots
I don’t need anyone to hold me
I can hold my own
I got highways for stretchmarks
see where I’ve grown
I sing sometimes
like my life is at stake
’cause you’re only as loud
as the noises you make
I’m learning to laugh as hard
as I can listen
’cause silence
is violence
in women and poor people
if more people were screaming then I could relax
but a good brain ain’t diddley
if you don’t have the facts
we live in a breakable takeable world
an ever available possible world
and we can make music
like we can make do
genius is in a back beat
backseat to nothing if you’re dancing
especially something stupid
like I.Q.
for every lie I unlearn
I learn something new
I sing sometimes for the war that I fight
’cause every tool is a weapon –
if you hold it right.

To Zion

by Lauryn Hill

Unsure of what the balance held
I touched my belly overwhelmed
By what I had been chosen to perform
But then an angel came one day
Told me to kneel down and pray
For unto me a man child would be born
Woe this crazy circumstance
I knew his life deserved a chance
But everybody told me to be smart
Look at your career they said,
“Lauryn, baby use your head”
But instead I chose to use my heart

Now the joy of my world is in Zion
Now the joy of my world is in Zion

How beautiful if nothing more
Than to wait at Zion’s door
I’ve never been in love like this before
Now let me pray to keep you from
The perils that will surely come
See life for you my prince has just begun
And I thank you for choosing me
To come through unto life to be
A beautiful reflection of his grace
See I know that a gift so great
Is only one God could create
And I’m reminded every time I see your face

That the joy of my world is in Zion
Now the joy of my world is in Zion
Now the joy of my world is in Zion
Now the joy of my world is in Zion

Marching, marching, marching to Zion
Marching, marching
Marching, marching, marching to Zion
Beautiful, beautiful Zion

YES WE CAN

Song & video, by will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas, featuring various celebs. Inspired by Barack Obama’s ‘Yes We Can’ speech

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaks out against the Vietnam War

30 years later, we find ourselves at war again. Please listen and think carefully about our ideals about war, peace, violence and race. He is speaking to us today once more.

Yoda

“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes.”

Funeral Quote from the film “Four Weddings and a Funeral”

When a loved ones is lost and I truly feel that immediate, deepest sense of sorrow, I often think of this quote that was read during this film by W.H. Auden.

“Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone. Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone. Silence the pianos and with muffled drum, Bring out the coffin… let the mourners come. Let aeroplanes circle, moaning overhead, Scribbling on the sky the message: He is Dead. Put crepe bows ’round the necks of public doves, Let traffic policemen wear black, cotton gloves. He was my North, my South, my East, my West. My working week and my Sunday rest. My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song, I thought love would last forever: I was wrong. The stars are not wanted now, put out every one. Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun. Pour out the ocean and sweep up the wood, For nothing now can ever come to any good.”

Hopi Prayer

After the deep sense of loss has passed, this is a prayer that comforts me when I wish that loved one was with me. I read this at my grandparent’s memorial service. For them, lovers of nature and truly part of the world around me now, it is so applicable.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glint on snow
I am the sunLight on the ripened grain
I am the gently falling autumn rain

When you wake in the morning hush
I am the swift upLighting rush
of quiet birds in circling flight
I am the soft starLight at night
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep

Message in a Bottle

By The Police

This song brings me back to a time, in high school, when friends around me felt as if their pain was the only pain, their lonliness, their differences, their fears and their worst nightmares were nothing anyone else could possibly understand or relate to. Not true.

Just a castaway, an island lost at sea, oh
Another lonely day, with no one here but me, oh
More loneliness than any man could bear
Rescue me before I fall into despair, oh

Ill send an s.o.s. to the world
I hope that someone gets my
Message in a bottle, yeah

A year has passed since I wrote my note
But I should have known this right from the start
Only hope can keep me together
Love can mend your life but
Love can break your heart
Ill send an s.o.s. to the world
I hope that someone gets my
Message in a bottle, yeah

Walked out this morning, dont believe what I saw
Hundred billion bottles washed up on the shore
Seems Im not alone at being alone
Hundred billion castaways, looking for a home
Ill send an s.o.s. to the world
I hope that someone gets my
Message in a bottle, yeah
Sending out at an s.o.s.
Sending out at an s.o.s.
Sending out at an s.o.s…

Nkosi Skelel Africa (God Bless Africa)

When I was attending school at Waterford in Swaziland, Nelson Mandela was still imprisoned, black south africans had practically no human rights, apartheid was accepted as law, and the rest of the world placed sanctions against its economy.  Many students were affected and lived this horrible moment in history first hand. Every morning we had assembly, along with the Swailand National Anthem, we sang the South African National Anthem. Every time it was sung, it was sung with passion and hope and even anger. This song will move me always. The other two songs were regularly sung or played as well and bring me right back to that time and that assembly hall.


 

Maya Angelou – on forgiving yourself.

 

“I don’t know if I continue, even today, always liking myself. But what I learned to do many years ago was to forgive myself. It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes – it is inevitable. But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say ‘well, if I’d known better, I’d have done better,’ that’s all. So you say to people who you think you may have injured, ‘I’m sorry’, and then you say to yourself, ‘I’m sorry.’ If we all hold on to the mistake, we can’t see our own glory in the mirror; we can’t see what we’re capable of being. You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end, the real forgiveness is in one’s own self. I think that young men and women are so caught by the way they see themselves. Now mind you. When a larger society sees them as unattractive, as threats, as too black or too white or too poor or too fat or too thin or too sexual or too asexual, that’s rough. But you can overcome that. The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself. If we don’t have that, we never grow, we never learn and sure as hell, we should never teach. “

 

Tracy Chapman – Change

Tracey Chapman is an incredible song writer and so much of her music inspires me. This song, in particular is a favorite.

If you knew that you would die today,
Saw the face of God and love,
Would you change?

If you knew that love can break your heart
When you’re down so low you cannot fall
Would you change?

How bad, how good does it need to get?
How many losses? How much regret?
What chain reaction would cause an effect?
Makes you turn around,
Makes you try to explain,
Makes you forgive and forget,
Makes you change?

If you knew that you would be alone,
Knowing right, being wrong,
Would you change?

If you knew that you would find a truth
That brings up pain that can’t be soothed
Would you change?

How bad, how good does it need to get?
How many losses? How much regret?
What chain reaction would cause an effect?
Makes you turn around,
Makes you try to explain,
Makes you forgive and forget,
Makes you change?

Are you so upright you can’t be bent?
If it comes to blows are you so sure you won’t be crawling?
If not for the good, why risk falling?
Why risk falling?

If everything you think you know,
Makes your life unbearable,
Would you change?

If you’d broken every rule and vow,
And hard times come to bring you down,
Would you change?

If you knew that you would die today,
If you saw the face of God and love,
Would you change?

If you saw the face of God and love
Would you change?
 

The Color Purple

There is no doubt, the move The Color Purple moves me beyond words (which is a feat, I can tell you). This song was a wonderful moment in the film – all that it represents about sisterhood, finding beauty and love keeps this scene close to my heart.

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