Can you calm down?

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I have felt called by music like I never have before.⁣⁣ I have been following its lead.⁣⁣ It has led me to the song “A Perfect Way to Die”.⁣⁣ The song title is so powerful and heartbreaking because WE are heartbroken by so many who have died unjustly.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Of course, there is NO perfect way to die. That phrase doesn’t even make sense. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Just like it doesn’t make sense that there are so many innocent lives that should not have been taken from us due to the destructive culture of police violence. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Sometimes I don’t have the words and music is the only thing that can speak.⁣⁣ I hope this speaks to you.⁣⁣ I hope one day this song won’t be so relevant.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Let’s NEVER stop fighting for justice.

A post shared by Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys) on

A Perfect Way to Die

Simple walk to the corner store
Mama never thought she would be gettin’ a call from the coroner
Said her son’s been gunned down, been gunned down
“Can you come now?”

Tears in her eyes, “can you calm down?
Please, ma’am, can you calm down?”

But it rained fire in the city that day, they say
A river of blood in the streets
No love in the streets
And then came silence in the city that day, they say
Just another one gone
And they tell her, move on

And she’s stuck there, singing
“Baby, don’t you close your eyes
‘Cause this could be our final time
And you know I’m horrible at saying goodbye
And I think of all you could have done
At least you’ll stay forever young
I guess you picked the perfect way to die
Oh, I guess you picked the perfect way to die”

New job, new city, new her
Bright-eyed, you would have been proud if you knew her
Flashing lights in the mirror, “pull over, pull over”
A couple nights in detention and it’s over, a whole life’s over

They came marching in the city that day, they say
Carryin’ signs in the streets
Cryin’ eyes in the streets
But they heard nothing from the city that day, they say
Just another one gone
And the city moved on

We’re stuck here singing
“Baby, don’t you close your eyes
‘Cause this could be our final time
And you know I’m horrible at saying goodbye
I’ll think of all you coulda done
At least you’ll stay forever young
I guess you picked the perfect way to die
Oh, I guess you picked the perfect way to die”

Another dream lost
Another king and queen lost
Another broken promise they refuse to make right
Oh, another night to live in fear
Oh, another night that you’re not here
Another reason to get out there and fight

But I say, “baby, don’t you close your eyes
‘Cause this could be our final timeAnd you know I’m horrible at saying goodbye

But I’ll think of all you coulda done
At least you’ll stay forever young
I guess you picked the perfect way to die
Oh, I guess you picked the perfect way

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Alicia Augello-Cook / Sebastian Kole
Perfect Way To Die lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Among the names of the many Black lives lost

In her lyrics Keys imagines a Coroner calling the mother of a deceased son to come identify his body. We listen in to hear the Coroner plead:

“Please, ma’am, can you calm down?”

I don’t know.

I don’t know if you should even ask any mother who has lost a child to racial killing to calm down.

I don’t know if she can; I don’t know if we can… or when we can calm down.

All I know is that we cannot expect peace, if we cannot have justice.

All I know is that we should expect more rivers of blood until we recognize the fountain of blood shed by the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

All I know is the Prince of Peace is a just judge, and He is first to fill the gap that alienates us from God, from others, and from ourselves.

Lord have mercy…

About R.H. (Rusty) Foerger

As I enter the third third of life, I am becoming aware of the role of elders today “to enlarge spiritual vision, being devoted to prayer, living in the face of death, as a living curriculum of the Christian life” (Dr. James M. Houston). I am a life long and life wide learner who seeks to: *decipher the enigma of our worth *rescue from the agony of prayerlessness *integrate spiritual friendship.
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