I finished this song on a rainswept December eve in Chicago 2019. It was missing an ending. I needed a way to make it into a story to connect me to you, the listener. There was no chorus or refrain, and I repeated one line and only once: The patriarchy must fucking die. I wanted to hear that line again.
With my guitar slung around me, I propped up my sketchbook on the wooden banister on the back stairwell, and this song began to flow.
After a few phrases a light rain started to fall. As the song’s intensity grew, so did the storm’s. We were one together on this ride. The rain became a deafening downpour, and I sang at the top of my lungs. Every injustice that I had ever experienced, read about, heard of or witnessed was extricated from my spirit and bled out of me in tantrumic, raging verse. I envisioned my voice smashing every wrong and setting the world to right in one volcanic, siren blow.
Throw the mother fuckers out the windows!
That was the sentiment that I hurled into the night. Enveloped in the powerful imagery of exploding glass by corrupt, hateful politicians being thrown to their death, I was tearing, then sobbing in joyous release. Then beyond sobbing and struggling to speak. And as the song waned, the storm slowed to a gentle patter. When the last chord rang, the storm stilled. I calmed and my world made sense again.
This is what Defenestration is about: emotional release. Expressing pent up, savage emotions in order to clear our heads so that we can collectively create positive change in the world.
When I think about this night, it seems unreal. In that dance between the rain and I, it was a natural partnership between the emotional storm inside me and the storm outside. Of our combined solidarity, our unified force, bound together, acknowledged, seen, heard, expressed.
Afterwards, I scribbled down the ending in a few furious minutes. I spent a few lines paying homage to what had happened, the rain and I, and the story was revealed. As I wrote, I imagined people all around me chained to walls, and in cages, dead. I was trapped there with them clutching to my hope when all hope seemed lost. And the song bloomed.
I wondered if anyone had heard me. Was I alone that night? And if someone did hear my impassioned performance, did they feel what I felt in that moment? Did we connect? Or was I just disturbing their peace?
It took me almost six months to distance myself enough from the song so that I could perform it without coming to tears or welling up with emotion. And sometimes, I’m a little afraid of it. This is precisely why I had to record it.
Follow the fear.
If I am afraid to put it out there for fear of what people will think, then it must have meaning. To be that vulnerable, and exposed, is a frightening, and empowering, act. This is art to me.
This song may affect on you. It may not. But it’s real. And that is a good beginning.
They’re trying to divide us
And it seems like
They’re doing a good job
Class illusions that unite us
You think yours is the chosen one
We’ve got the same enemy between us
We’re both getting fucked by a government
Designed to keep us fighting each other
While they smash grab
And run off with the loot
It may take us a few forevers
But eventually we might learn the truths
Like skin color is an adaptation
Ancestors from a certain latitude
And money is a masterful invention
Used to control a poor populace
And my gender
Is no one’s fucking business
And class is just another word
That rhymes with ass
War is not a free people’s natural state
And the prison system is slavery
Consensual sex and drugs
Are not crimes
And alcohol is a known depressant
And the patriarchy must fucking die
We need women in all walks of our lives
And the patriarchy must fucking die
Some things rarely heard need to be said
And be'ng White should not
This nation was built
By illegal immigrants
And genocidal and religious maniacs
We shall carry this shame until we change
I’ve lived long enough to know
Right and wrong
And I'm old but I’m writing this song
'Cause no one with a voice fucking will
The greed machine
Never gets its full fill
You’d think we’d be better educated
Not the first hate regime in history
We’ve grown comfortable and complacent
It’s time to bring back
’Cause there’s more of us
Than there is of them
And they’d never expect a direct hit
In a moment’s gasp it’ll all be over
Then you can watch it on the internet
And life will be so much better after
As long as we remember who we are
Beautiful people standing together
Uniting against corruption and hate
And the downpour drove harder
As I dove
Deeper into this emotional role
The storm is calmer now and so am I
I apologize for all the distress
I’ve carried this hurt inside
My whole life
I just needed a moment
To scream it out
’Cause I never made a stand
When I should
I did not have
Enough water to bloom
And when they rolled the tanks
Into my town
I still told myself
They’re just passing through
'Cause I was scared and rightfully so
And I obeyed and did as I was told
’Cause I thought I was the only one
Look at all of you here with me today
I could go on for one more forever
But I think that I’ll
Make it through the night
And if I never ever awaken
Light a candle December twenty-ninth