Heavy Load (You Will Make Us Rise Again)

Heavy Load (You Will Make Us Rise Again) March 10, 2020

For a long time, I have dreamed of making music together with my best friend Mitchener Howell, who is a trained opera singer. This is our first collaboration. Mitchener shared a recording he did of the spiritual “By and By” and I added a drum and bass track and spoken word poem to it. Below are the Soundcloud link to the song and the lyrics to the spoken word poem.

You never promised that the road wouldn’t be long;
You never warned me how strong I would need to become
I’m not young anymore;
Every door that slams in my face;
Every time I’m put in my place;
Every proof I receive that I’m an irredeemable nutcase;
I only grip the cross more tightly
It only stokes the fight in me;
If you’re trying to make me give up,
Then you’ll have to put a far more bitter poison in my cup;
Because the joy has been set before me
And I’m going to wrestle you till daybreak
Till you set me free from all my mistakes;
Till you heal me and fill me with eternal grace;
Satan keeps trying;
The world keeps lying;
Telling me I’ve failed;
Forgetting that every setback can be nailed to your cross
And nothing is ever lost;
You’ve paid the cost all in advance
So that I can move without shame every time that I dance
Because you just want me to be your child
And join you in a wildness that no market can ever tame;
That can never be co-opted into the empire’s game;
Leviathan without Hobbes’ grand solution;
For you are the God of mighty storms
Who splits the earth
And oversees the delicacy of every birth;
You will give birth to me again;
I will not be held hostage by the sin
That tries to make me anxious
And not trust in my dreams.

Struggle was not my first language;
My childhood home just sold for more than a million dollars;
I’ve never been any more or any less
Than a lonely rich boy from Braeswood
Who wandered the bayou path to the hood side of Houston
Who found redemption in the Amen break
Sampled on the streets of Compton
I have no street knowledge;
There’s vomit on my sweater
And streaks in my drawers
I’ve never been poor;
I went to private school
Where black kids were rare and always fetishized because rap was so cool;
But you sent me many wise teachers
Whose crosses have made their resurrection fierce,
Who live with you outside the gates that were closed to them
And the more that I join them outside the fortress that was my prison
The more that I see that you are the God of liberation;

You will not let the ones who crucified you
Continue to make an industry out of your salvation;
Your rebellion against them has only begun
And yet you’ve already won
Because we are being reborn
In the storm that only your spirit can stir;
There’s a courage that only comes to those
Who allow themselves to be astonished by you
And nothing can do them in;
No obstacle within or without;
I want to be a child again like that;
I want to feel you hemming me in;
You will make us rise again;
You will fill our hearts with love again;
You will fill our songs with laughter again.
You will overcome the world that tried to make you its self-serving idol again.

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