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  1. I Can't Breathe

From the recording Songs to Fight Fascists By!

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Lyrics

I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe
I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe

I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe
I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe…

Helpless
Strangled and tangled around the body and mind
Trying to find an opening for my birthright
to release my essence
To celebrate my existence with persistence
with no blockage to my true expression of freedom
That’s what I’m striving to achieve
To help you no longer believe
that one is better than the other
That one of us doesn’t deserve the worth,
the celebration of the aspiration
of those who have suffered
To provide the legacy of life over death
Mentally and spiritually engaging in forward thinking
Uplift to rise above the past trials and tribulations
that left bodies hung with castration
To those who have and continue to fight
to change society from discrimination
to a unity conscious elevation
It is to you that this song is a dedication

I still hear my brother crying “I can’t breathe”
Now I’m in the struggle singing “I can’t leave”
We calling out the violence of the racist police
And we ain’t gonna stop till our people are free!
And we ain’t gonna stop till our people are free!

I can’t leave, I can’t leave
I can’t leave, I can’t leave
Stand up and be counted
I can’t leave, oh no…

The spark and the knowing in an old father’s eyes
The revolving doors of heaven spin black love songs
Sizzle
A cast iron frying pan reduces bacon to oil
These are everyday rituals mothers perform to fledge their children’s feathers
The comings and goings, how can I leave except to fly into your soul, the moon
Dive into your night ocean body, no shoreline in sight
You, black rock jutting out from the sand to defy the seafoam
The members of the beach form a choir
Themselves, sing
Every surviving day
Miracles, no lie
See, son, on the seesaw of social justice
we up and we down,
we run and we laugh
Pain turns sand to glass
Pressure turns bones to diamonds
Loss turns souls to saints
Stumbling among the stars
before falling down into human
We could fly away, we choose not to
We up rise until our people are free

I still hear my brother crying “I can’t breathe”
Now I’m in the struggle singing “I can’t leave”
We calling out the violence of the racist police
And we ain’t gonna stop till our people are free!
And we ain’t gonna stop till our people are free!

All around the world lift your voice and sing
Till our people are free (Oh no…)
Till our people are free (Everybody’s got to be, everybody’s got to be free)
We ain’t gonna stop (We ain’t gonna stop, no)
Till our people are free (In our communities, in our homes)
Till our people are free (Black, White, Muslim)
Till our people are free (Asian, transgender, gay folk gotta be free)
We ain’t gonna stop (Stand up and be who you are)
Till all people are free

Till all people are free (Until all my brothers and sisters are free)
Till all people are free (Till I can drive down the street and be safe driving in my car)
Till all people are free (Till all people are free)
Till all people are free (I got to be, I want to be free)
Till all people are free
Till all people are free (I’m crying out loud)

I still hear my brother crying “I can’t breathe”
Now I’m in the struggle singing “I can’t leave”
We calling out the violence of these racist police
And we ain’t gonna stop till all people are free!

And we ain’t gonna stop – till all people are free!