Students step into the gun debate with a song

The Drama Club at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, composed a song, titled “Shine,” about the mass shooting that occurred at the school on February 14. They performed their original work at a CNN Town Hall meeting on February 21. Here’s the video:

Following is our transcription of the lyrics of the song these students sang. In some cases, we aren’t certain of the exact words, and we welcome any corrections to this text.

Shine

You, you threw my city away.
You tore down the walls and opened up all the gates.
You, you ruined this town.
You burned all of the bridges, and you slowly let us drown.

But you’re not gonna knock us down;
We’ll get back up again.
You may have hurt us,
But I promise we’ll be stronger and—

We’re not gonna let you win.
We’re putting up a fight.
You may have brought the dark,
But together we will shine the light.

And whoa, we will be something special.
Whoa, we’re gonna shine.

We’re, we’re gonna stand tall,
Gonna raise up our voices so we never, ever fall.
We’re done with all your little games.
We’re tired of hearing that we’re too young to ever make a change.

‘Cuz you’re not gonna knock us down;
We’ll get back up again.
You may have hurt us,
But I promise we’ll be stronger and—

We’re not gonna let you win;
We’re putting up a fight.
You may have brought the dark,
But together we will shine the light.

We can hug a little tighter.
We can love a little more.
Laugh a little harder,
We can stand up and roar.
If we all come together, it will be all right.
Stand up for one another, and we’ll never give up the fight.

(Spoken:)
We refuse to be ignored by those who will not listen.
There are so many things you can do to become involved:
Reach out to your congressmen, mail, call, and tweet.
The smallest of words can make the biggest difference.
Be the voice for those who don’t have one.
Together we have the power to change the world around us.

(Sung:)
You’re not gonna knock us down;
We’ll get back up again.
You may have hurt us,
But I promise we’ll be stronger and—

We’re not gonna let you win.
We’re putting up a fight.
You may have brought the dark,
But together we will shine the light.

You’re not gonna knock us down;
We’ll get back up again.
You may have hurt us,
But I promise we’ll be stronger and—

We’re not gonna let you win;
We’re putting up a fight.
You may have brought the dark,
But together we will shine the light, and—

Whoa, we will be something special.
Whoa, we will shine.

Editorial

What teens in the 1960s made of the Vietnam War, teens today are making of gun laws that allow 19-year-olds who are behaviorally disturbed to purchase and use AR-15 semiautomatic rifles. Then, we hear from the president of the United States that we could reduce the number of attacks by bringing more guns into our schools.

With outspoken and well-spoken teenagers leading the charge and noting, in no uncertain terms, that such an argument is beyond preposterous and pigheaded, it won’t be long before people start talking about repealing the Second Amendment. (Nobody is calling for that, within reason, yet. But if teens who aren’t afraid to speak to authority keep calling “BS” on these tired positions from the gun lobby, it could very well come to that.)

It’s a new world, and students like these have made it so. I can appreciate a hunting rifle as much as anyone else, I suppose, but even seasoned hunters are on the decline, as the new generation of students born after 2000 rises up with such a strong case and a worthy cause.

If they can take the whole anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti-intellectual, anti-good health care platform down as collateral damage, that would not be such a terrible thing.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the GOP positions on many key issues have been lost on anyone under about 30. Maybe 40. Many of the positions were lost on me a long time ago, and I’m one who can definitely admire the engineering and precision of a well-designed gun.

It’s only a matter of time, and I don’t think the gun lobby has all that much time left—especially if all they’ve got is the proposition to bring teachers, trained educators, into our classrooms holstering a 9mm Glock. We’ll see in the election later this year how many of these teens were able to convince their parents that there’s power in the ballot, and we’ll see in 2020 how many of them vote and put their ballot where their voice is.

About the Author

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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