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    If I hadn't been a quiet introspective kid
    If I hadn't been a nerd wouldn't have met with him
    If we hadn't observed we be the best of friends
    That preferred the spoken word to the toke and binge
    If momma hadn't died when I was young
    Would me and sis have been so tight from jump
    If dad had not lost his mind to a disease
    Would I be up here askin ya'll to notice me

    In the dark times didn't know where the path went
    I was close to the edge like Grand Master Flash said
    It was the hands of my friends who held me back

    Yes
    Without them I'd MJ keep slide'n backwards
    Or be a hypocrite like some others have been
    If that and the other hadn't happened
    I don't know that I'd be Brer Rabbit
    Askin how many ifs between hero and has-been?

    If I had only known that I would be a lamb to the slaughter
    now I know

    If I hadn't grown up in the 80's
    Experiencing the various things that made me
    Would I still be standing center stage
    Trying to innovate new ways to demonstrate
    If mommy daddy hadn't turned off Mork and Mindy
    To inform us divorce was pending
    Would him and me have spent these 23 years in a frenzy
    Moving back and forth with such forceful energy
    I remember when I was a little baby
    Lying there alone on my pillow casing
    Upset already I could feel the aging
    The urge to return was debilitating
    And maybe I'm still afraid and need to
    Cry a little harder for the world of play things
    Stop looking back on these silly day dreams
    Sing along with me if you feel the same way

    If I had known what awaited was unplanned
    If I had known the blade was in a loved one's hand
    If I had known of the possible injury
    If I had known the altar was meant for me
    Now I know nobody can predict events
    Now I know there's cracks in the picket fence
    Now I know that something else can exist
    Now I know a life can be built from this
    If I had known emotions would still remain
    If I had known that time wouldn't heal the pain
    If I had known the intent of the injury
    If I had known the altar wasn't meant for me
    Now I know there's treasure hidden in these scars
    Now I know there's presence in an empty yard
    Now I know what it took for me to survive
    Now I know where to go to become alive

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