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A Winter of Instability

A Winter of InstabilityEcho Cain
00:00 / 07:43
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Spoken Word Psychedelic Folk Funk

Instruments Used:

Acoustic Guitar


Bass Guitar

Electric Guitar


[A wandering folk tune on an acoustic guitar introduces the song]


Resistance in the Black Community is well-documented and continuous due to the struggle against systemic racism, classism, and marginalization that so affects them in America.


[Bass guitar joins the mix]


These factors and a need to fight contribute to a feeling of instability and contracted time that affects all marginalized people.


[Electric guitar joins]


This is added to by the patronizing """objective""" way those in power control lives via miniscule amounts of data. 


In modernity, Time Studies has arisen as a white, cis-gendered, heterosexual man's understanding of time.

In the study, time is described

as having "sped up".

It's true that life has sped up for all of us with the onset of the internet and constant stimulation, but this ignores the perception of time that marginalized folx experienced throughout history.

COVID-19 has briefly added the instability that so many have felt for generations to the lives of a portion of even powerful individuals. 

And the powerful say, "These times are unprecedented!". 



You didn't have to experience the pain of fighting tooth and nail for quality education for your kids. 


[A more stressed, anxious quality is achieved through the use of a Phrygian mode for all the instruments]



You didn't have to stare at the damn bills for days on end, wondering why your tenement cost so much.

You didn't have to walk miles for school.
You didn't have to question whether or not the neighborhood cop was gonna decide to kill you today.

You didn't have to experience kangaroo courts and bullshit meetings of pretend discourse.

You didn't have to scream over and over that, "We EXIST! We matter! We are VALID! We DESERVE the same treatment!". 


Fell on deaf ears.

Fell on standardized test scores that measure nothing.

Fell on efficiency measurements and overfunding of white schools.

Fell on scientists and clocks that kept ticking, pulling away the veil of time, keeping the labor force making capital.


We can’t keep doing this.

We can’t keep treating people like animals.

We can’t lock up those that scare white sensibilities and throw away the key.

We can’t keep slavery alive through private prisons and non-existent wages.

It’s time.

It’s time to stop this.

It’s been time to stop this.

Through this curtain separating me from you, dear listener, I implore you to rethink.

To critique. To question.


[The quality of the mix becomes a bit more focused and directed]


I implore you to lobby your lawmakers.

I implore you to protest peacefully against the injustices.

I implore you to listen to black and brown voices.

I implore you to look out and see that

Freedom is not free for all!

I know that you know.

You know that the rich keep getting richer.

You see the white men released and the

black men kept behind bars.

You know this isn’t equal, certainly not equitable.


And you, the person listening to this.

Don’t ever stop fighting.

I have to tell myself this too

because it’s hard.

Don’t ever stop protesting.

Don’t ever stop learning and caring.

Don’t ever stop loving.

We have to get up every day and reckon with the state of the world, the doom spelled out on the news, the horrors that lie behind America’s ajar doors.

We must every day get up and throw open those doors.

We must light our surroundings with true justice, and that is social justice.


[The quality of the mix becomes unfocused and slower]


Gil-Scott Heron once wrote a song and a poem.

Winter in America.

It is a beautiful piece that made me realize what we were truly in.

What America truly was.

“And it seems like Winter in America.

And there’s nobody fighting because nobody knows what to say”.


These were his words. They reverberate through my mind.


[The mix focuses again and begins playing a real chord progression]


I make a promise every time

I listen to that song.

I make a promise that I will learn what to say.

I will learn what to do. I will fight.

We will melt this winter.

The rain will pour down on our faces and the clouds will part and we will be one people in the universe.

It starts now.

Can you feel the rain? We are a people united by our love for each other. True love.

We see each other.

We listen to each other.

We are each other.

I feel this now. Maybe you feel this now.


It will be Spring someday in America. And like a child coming in from playing in the snow we will shake off our icicles on the floor, we will struggle to get our coat off, our boots will stick to our feet.

But, the Hot Chocolate that Mother Earth brings us will warm us, we will remember who we are.

We will remember our past.

We are reckoning with it.


[The acoustic guitar begins to strum and the other instruments become more focused and faster. There is dancing element to the music]


Let the rain fall. Let it fall with plump drops, let it drive the vultures away, let it bloom the flowers and wake the soil.

The rain is a mist now, tantalizing us with promises of progress soon. The mist is known by the strugglers, they have watched it accumulate and dissipate over and over for centuries.

Well, that mist is coalescing into a crowd.

A crowd of people singing in complex, unmistakable harmony.

We are singing a rain song.

A song that we are beginning to dance to.

Dance to the beat, my blood.

Dance to the beat of your ancestors, before they were colonizers.


[Short electric guitar solo]


When we join that dance, the crowd will become a cloud and begin to rain, washing the money that we covered ourselves with away.


We have so much to do, so much work,

but it is now or never.

Heed our call.

Join us in our song and dance.

[The mix takes on a darker, depressed quality]


And we can say all of this.

And we can say that the rain is going to fall, but I don’t know that.

I don’t.

This could just be another moment where the mist is coalescing for a brief second and then dissipating.

As people get that little modicum of something that they wanted.

That little bit of equality.

And the white people say, “Well that’s enough”.

And interests converge again and that’s it; but I don’t what that to be what it is!

I know that it is still Winter in America, but I hope that I just heard the ice on the pond crack…

I hope I heard that…

I hope…


[The electric guitar fades into oblivion]

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