Kid's Prayer

by Dan Bern

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lyrics

So sad, so sad the news
Come our way this morning
Like a bad bad dream
A dream that you’d never even talk about
In a school, a school
A place where we send our precious children
The only place of innocence the world might ever let them know

And barely aware of the odds against existence in the first place
Of love and fertility and risk of a baby being born
And of clothes and food and fear and maybe relocation
Of sickness, recovery, of music lessons, painting the bedroom

And lingering over eggs and thoughts and sleepy conversations
And plans for the weekend
One last pause to say goodbye
And a glance at the clock
And the grabbing of the sandwich and the notebook
Confident of nothing but the unbroken days that they've been granted

But comes a child
A child so full of anger and hatred
Barely aware of the genesis coursing through his veins
With a gun, a gun
Deaf and blind deliverer of madness
Skilled beyond his own unformulated brain

And with his hand in a fist
And his soul in a knot
And his heart racing
And his mind sick with images
His slim shoulders finally feeling tall

And his fellow creatures
Students and their crushes and their daydreams
Struggling to unwrap the ancient secrets of geometry
He pulls from his coat the instrument to shatter all forevers
In a random blaze of insides and blood and endless now

And noise and flash and more and not even when it's over
Can any so much as summon up the sanity to scream
Then on the floor his classmates blown down and choking
As he lays his weapon on his desk, hardly sure he isn't dreaming

And all the world descends and offers up their condolence
And offers up their theories what went wrong
And who and why and when and how

It's all the killing day and night on television
It's all the movies where violence is as natural as breathing
It's guns and bullets as easily obtainable as candy
It's video games where you kill and begin to think it's real
It's people not having God in their lives anymore
Or it's all of it, or none of it, or some of it, or various combinations

And all those theories sound pretty reasonable, I guess
Though I ain't no scientist
I ain't no figurer of statistics
I ain't no theologist
Or psychologist or biologist
All I can do is offer up a prayer of my own

Talk to your kids
Play with your kids
Tell them your dreams
And your disappointments
Listen with your kids
Listen to your kids
Watch your kids
Let your kids watch you
Tell your kids the truth
Best as you can tell it
No use telling lies
Your kids can always smell it
Cook for your kids
Let your kids cook for you
Sing with your kids
Teach your kids the blues
Learn their games
Teach them yours
Touch your kids
Find out what they know
Be sad with your kids
Be stupid with your kids
Learn with your kids
Cry with you kids
Be yourself with your kids
Be real with your kids
Embarrass your kids
Let them embarrass you
Be strong with your kids
Be tough with your kids
Be firm with your kids
Say "No" to your kids
Say "Yes" to your kids
Take it easy on your kids
You were a kid
Not so long ago
There are things you know
Your kids will never know
There’s places they live
Where you will never go
So dance with your kids
Paint with your kids
Walk with your kids
Tell stories to your kids
Watch movies with your kids
Eat popcorn with your kids
Tell secrets to your kids
Stop for rainbows with your kids
One day your kids
Won't be kids
And maybe they'll have kids of their own
Let’s hope they talk to their kids
Play with their kids
Tell them their dreams
And their disappointments

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released December 15, 2012

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Dan Bern Los Angeles, California

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