i was driving home one night, hours from home and my favorite passenger was fast asleep. i rarely turn on music when i drive, most bands i listen to our not good for 3 AM dark, long stretches of highway anyway. i usually listen to some sort of talk radio, (you hear the most random and borderline insane theories on backwoods talk stations). i stopped on a story about an all to familiar character, but this was not about his headlines, but about the low points of his life.

when it comes to the past we often hear of the success, but rarely ever of the failure. if you think about it you never hear anyone at a funeral walk on stage and belittle the deceased or question publicly their character, you only hear the positive even if there is very little to speak of. in the same light i had heard more positive stories than negatives of this american man. i had listened to the speeches, envisioned his dreams, read books, and even wrote several papers on his influence in my own life.

but this radio program was different, it delved into the psyche of a man who, near the end of his life, felt defeated. he even said in a few different speaking engagements how he felt that his dream may never come to pass, he even predicted that he wouldn't be around for long, and that they (the movement) should continue without him. and that is where we pick up.

great men, or women, with great visions, who rebel against the social norm usually end up in a coffin, in a prison, or even a cross. but then what? what happens when the shepherd is struck, do the sheep always scatter? i believe that when the vision, belief, theology, or philosophy is noble and just then it stands the test of time.

the principal of change through non-violence is nothing new to our system, though it goes against everything we as humans feel is in our human nature. it is easier to to punch then to be punched. it is more convenient to shoot than to be shot at. it is in our core to survive. yet look at mohatma ghandi? an entire government was overthrown through such peaceable means.

i have no desire to overthrow the government but i do desire change, not in a system but in 'we the people'. we have to continue to fight to create or more civil union not in a political party but amongst us the diverse races of this world. we owe it to ourselves to end racism in our generation, to see the good in people, to fight against segregation, and to become a more just and non-judgmental global community.

since when did bullets
start to sing
it didnt have to end like this
is this the end of everything
it didnt have to end like this
i feel i feel we can't stop
it doesn't have to end like this
we owe this to ourselves
we can't just let this go
if every man became a king
we could start it off with this
we could do more than just dream
we could start it off with this
i feel i feel the change is here
we owe this to ourselves
to fight to lead
we can't just let this go


Billy S said…
Wow Stephen. Powerful lyrics...I've come to expect nothing less though
Daniel said…
If this song is any indication of what is to come on the new album, I am confident we can all expect great things. Thanks Stephen!
i like what i hear. hope there is more to come in this vein..
Joey Macasero said…
Wow Stephen what a taste you've given us, this brilliant as a first song for the new album
sarah anastasia said…
Stephen, thanks so much for showing us, it's much appreciated! The new stuff is sounding brilliant, as expected. Thanks for including us!
Juan Carlos said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Renny said…
I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE NEW ALBUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous said…
lovin' it...i've said it before and i'll say it again...my fav writer...i'm a fan of anchor and braille also...powerful legit lyrics...great work man
Phoenix Rising said…
Stephen: What are your thoughts on MLK's widely underreported affairs and dalliances with women other than his wife? I'm not trying to diminish his goals and achievements by any stretch, but reading the lyrics to a song that holds him up as a beacon feels a bit foolhardy given his sordid affairs with numerous women. Your thoughts?
It seems like you guys have been working FOREVER... xD

Haha, too excited! I can't wait for your next album!

If these are lyrics anyway.
britt-o said…
I love the lyrics. You are such a great writer!
Thomas said…
if this is what the new album's like, I'm really excited. thanks for showing us this.
punkeymonkey529 said…
Great lyrics Stephen, I actually hadn't caught the message of a new blog post, I went to check the postsecret blog I missed yesterday, and the subscription for your blog and postsecret are next to eachother, i'm like yeah! Stephen has a new post as well. So awesome!
Sarah K said…
Cant wait untill your new book comes out!!--hopefully.

I would like to see you out at warped tour...maybe next year?
The Seeker. said…
As a response to Pheonix Rising....Every hero has a dark side. The positive and negative are always at odds and yet somehow working together. This is the friction. This is life. Sometimes the most honorable of saints are the dirtiest sinners. It's a life of hypocrisy we can't escape. Our darkness is as powerful as our light.
valerie said…
are these the lyrics for a song from the new album? wow. i can't wait to hear how it sounds out loud :D
Anonymous said…
What makes a man? or for that matter what makes a king? for a king is only a man with greater power than the average joe. i am 18 and would rather go through life as a king than a average dude. what separates the two????? is it wisdom? understanding? maturity? Where do you find these qualities???? does it come with age? mentors? god??? if their is one. a bitter pursuit of the entrenal quest for GREATNESS....in this life.
Fallon said…
dang man, keep pushing for a social revolution, you have the right mindset, philosophies and communication grounds. make it happen, the world needs it
Anonymous said…
oh you made my day with this blog!!Now i finaly see what this song is all about,and with insight comes understanding...followed by appreciation...followed by ?addiction?:)You inspire just by telling me you don't listen to music at 3am...realy.Nobody else has that ability!Consider yourself loved!haha,enjoy your day!
AUburnt2acrisp said…
i wonder why god didn't prohibit slavery in the old testament, but now we fight for equality amongst races, as if it's the most obvious thing ever that ALL people should be free, have equal rights and be treated with respect. almost seems like the writers of the bible altered or modified "god's will" according to popular sentiment at the time. hmmmmmmmmmmmm, i wonder.....
AUburnt2acrisp said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rob Poppell said…
what a wonderful song; both lyrically and musically. honestly, i've felt afraid to follow after king... ghandi ... yeshua. but since when did bullets start to sing? - - it's good to be reminded that they hold no power over us.
Janelle said…
The worst part about racism, & in fact many judgmental behaviors, is that in many cases they're learned. On the one hand, that makes it harder to combat, & on the other hand, it's all the more reason to fight it.

Before my grandmother died in the fall, my family, along with my aunt, uncle, & cousins, would all go to church then have breakfast at Grandma's. It was wonderful when my uncle wasn't making horrible, stereotypical racist remarks, including regularly using slurs. Around the breakfast table after church on Sunday morning.

Wonderful song, by the way. I'm thrilled that I was actually there that night, got to speak to you afterward, too. I do recall telling you that I regularly read your blog, & here I am, once again!
Brandon said…
anberlin has been the most inspiring music in my life, especially in the last few years. Unwinding cable car is as a life anthem and the depth of songs like fin espiritus, have captivated my faithful heart so much. All this to say, as a young man who is extremely hopeful and socially driven, how do i take the energy of the moment where lyrics and instruments meet time and space and turn it into some sort of legitimate action to share with all the world?
God.Bless. & keep Writing Love
PS- Great show in VT I sang every lyric!
Mary said…
Great lyrics Stephen, I actually hadn't caught the message of a new blog post, I went to check the postsecret blog I missed yesterday, and the subscription for your blog and postsecret are next to eachother, i'm like yeah! Stephen has a new post as well. So awesome!

kurs na wózki widÅ
Luna Azul said…
Both you and Anberlin have inspired me so much throughout the years. Thank you for being such a strong light for me and so many other people.

I cannot wait to read and hear more!
Anonymous said…
black and white makes gray:

If Martin Luther King had not risen up, someone would have. But he did and we owe it to him to have listened carefully. Now that time has passed where are we? I believe that the blame game has to end. We are not our forefathers, infact mine gave their lives to end slavery. I live in a inter
racial family. The mixed race marriages have gone very poorly. In each case they have lived "down" to the stereotypical behavior. If we want equality then let it be true. Each person should be rewarded or punished for their own behavior. Let fathers be resposible for the children and husbands for the wives they have, let your income reflect the amount of education you pursued. Let your character be judged by your actions. That would be true equality.

No more passes for bad behavior or special treatment in fear of someone playing the race card. I am sorry my brotherinlaws did not have father figures, but I did not either. I have two eyes to look around and know right from wrong.
There is still a lot of gray area as to how to proceed, but we owe each other this: see me as an individual above all things. Please don't miss the fact that things have changed, we are all free to overcome or wallow in our misfortune. FREE means no ties, either way, I am not responsible for you or you for me...no ropes. With freedom comes resposibility time to pick it up and carry it!
Stargirl said…
beautiful song, and the message is one that everybody should hear. many people don't seem to know that racism is wrong, they've learned it from the people around them. it seems almost too late for a change, but it never is. i agree with what you say completely, thank you for getting the message out to people.
anfloy said…
this song is amazing *.* good work
niki said…
I do agree with most everyone here that your lyrics are lovely (as I have come to expect over the past years!)

I think (feel!) that when we look at past figures such as MLK, and who they were...We have to remember that their virtues are within our grasp. We can change the hearts and minds of people, if we do put ourselves out there. And, we have to remember that we all have struggles. So when you see someone's darker side..look at it with consideration of your own weakness, with humility. We are brothers and sisters..

But most importantly: the thing that makes us human is the ability to get over ourselves, and do something whether or not we're perfect.
Anonymous said…
I've read lots of articles on MLK that says he plagiarized many of his speeches, including the "I have a dream" speech. They even mentioned the names of the people who wrote the speeches. Most of them were small church preachers and pastors.
I think this fits into what you were saying that no one mentions the dirt on the people that achieved something as big as MLK did, especially after they're gone. Which is somewhat understandable, because what he (together with his followers) achieved was great; but I still think that truth should be told, especially if it's something this big.
Anonymous said…
Wow, this is good. :) Powerful, very powerful. :)
I like how you led the background (story, thoughts, beliefs) into this song. Thank you for that, means a lot. This blog is such an incredible inspiration. I like reading(and listening to the music of course). Blessings your way.

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