Lives in the Balance

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Written and performed by Jackson Browne

I’ve been waiting for something to happen, For a week or a month or a year
With the blood in the ink of the headlines, And the sound of the crowd in my ear
You might ask what it takes to remember, When you know that you’ve seen it before
Where a government lies to a people, And a country is drifting to war

And there’s a shadow on the faces, Of the men who send the guns
To the wars that are fought in places, Where their business interest runs

On the radio talk shows and the TV, You hear one thing again and again
How the U.S.A. stands for freedom, And we come to the aid of a friend
But who are the ones that we call our friends, These governments killing their own?
Or the people who finally can’t take any more, And they pick up a gun or a brick or a stone

There are lives in the balance, There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons, And there is blood on the wire

There’s a shadow on the faces, Of the men who fan the flames
Of the wars that are fought in places, Where we can’t even say the names

They sell us the President the same way, They sell us our clothes and our cars
They sell us every thing from youth to religion, The same time they sell us our wars
I want to know who the men in the shadows are, I want to hear somebody asking them why
They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are, But they’re never the ones to fight or to die

And there are lives in the balance, There are people under fire
There are children at the cannons, And there is blood on the wire

 

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