From the recording Rivers ( Vol V of The Gods The Gates and The Sweet Waters)
Everyone has experienced having their words being judged harshly by others at some point. And we are also all guilty at sometime of judging others. Be it grammarians, moralists, or overly politically correct people jumping down your throat for a simple misplaced vowel, ill-judged word, or slip of the tongue, we all need to be more relaxed, not make pre-judgements and listen to the ideas behind the words. Not everyone is silver tongued, and we all make mistakes. So this song is just saying let words be free, and take time to listen to people. Although I would say I am naturally politically correct, in the sense that I do not agree with hurting others, and that we should be sensitive to all peoples' feelings as well as knowledgeable about the histories of abuse, I also think there is some truth to sticks and stones. We should not take offence to words. I think of Lenny Bruce's comedy routine here. But there are a million stories in which a person's words and actions are very very different. The most courageous story I know concerning facing prejudice with an open mind is the black Blues musician Daryl Davis, who decided he would simply go and talk to the Klu Klux Klan. And at great risk to himself both physically and socially (he received a lot of condemnation from some liberals for this) through the river of communication managed to open some very closed minds. So let words flow, judge by action not talk.
Damn the Dams© Roman Rhodes, 2012
Everybody’s judging others,now everybody’s fudging on everybody else.They’re not looking or listening.They don’t see essence glistening.They only see the shelf.
You put your pigeons in your box.You take each and every word I talk, like a boat from a river to a lock.You deconstruct each letterTo pretend that you are better. To this conversation’s blood you are a clot.
It’s laziness that causes this mess Of relations come undone. But if you’d allow a few mistakes, You’d see that were all one.
You take so little time to understand my rhyme,That you misconstrue everything I meant.You’re so hung up on form, that a word can cause a storm,And turn beauty into something quite bent.
You can’t step into a river twice, so don’t think words that I spoke so nice, are the same as some curse you heard. I might be befriending you, so don’t go ending this before you do me the flipping of the bird.Chorus: Dam your dams, oh, listen to me man,Rivers, words and minds must be free.Everything you’re holding back is giving you a heart attack,And causing us more misery.
In your fear you cower in the groups that give you power,'Cause you think you’ll rise above the flood.But cultures rise and fall and the ones that build the dams and wallsAre the ones that crumble from a lack of love.
Its fear and greed that cause this need And bring out God and gun. But if you’d share, take time to care You find enough for everyone.
Bridge: Take the time to listen to the last word Tune your mind to hear the meaning unheard. Take the time to get the gist coming from the soul. Don’t just take the wind out of my sails. Don’t go sink the boat, don’t just simply bail. Don’t damn up the river before reaching the goal.
You put your concrete thinking blocksIn the current of this river and damn the flowing of the soul.And you never understand the goodness in these waters,'Cause you focus on bed and banks and not the whole.
Communication is a river, a bit of take, bit of give her, Let it flow, just let be. You don’t give energy, you just give shock. To the flow of this water you are a rock, blocking the current to the Sea.
Damn yours dams, oh listen to me man:Rivers, words and minds must be free.Everything you’re holding back is giving you a heart attack,And causing us more misery.
Don’t damn the flowing,Or we’ll stagnate and never flow into the sea.Keep the talk going,Won’t you row this little boat along with me.