RC - An Equal Start

from by Various Artists

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My round 3 song for Spintunes 6, the object of which was to write a protest song. This was difficult for me, because I have a standing policy of not discussing my political views publicly (for professional reasons). I do write politically motivated songs, but I am pretty careful to couch them in ways that maintain plausible partisan deniability.

Given the challenge, that was not going to be good enough. So in this case, I had to find a topic that, in my mind, *should* be a non-partisan issue. This is that issue:

I am convinced that one of the major root causes of inequality in this society is the fact that local funding of schools means that one district can afford the newest books and facilities, while the one across town... can't. If we can't provide some kids with an equal opportunity to learn, the same books, the same computers, and a safe environment, how can we expect them to be able to take full advantage of opportunities down the road?

This, to me, should be a front-and-center issue. It's not even on the scoreboard.

lyrics

It's the luck of the draw
the dart on the board
where your life's trajectory
is shaped by where you're born
and the school that awaits
when you are of age
that golden opportunity
that truly sets the stage

When some schools have everything
so many others lack
how you gonna catch up
with your hands tied behind your back
the goals that we're not reaching
are tearing us apart
equality is useless
without an equal start

If you're fortunate
your school has more
while other schools make do with less
just what they can afford
the suburbs are stocked
the city is bare
the resources wildly different
and nobody seems to care

When some schools have everything
so many others lack
how you gonna catch up
with your hands tied behind your back
the goals that we're not reaching
are tearing us apart
equality is useless
without an equal start

Make every school the same place
make it warm, make it safe
make every school the same place
then get out of the way

When some schools have the funding
the rest are on their own
how you gonna catch up
when you drag that giant stone
everyone can see the problem
but it's not getting to out hearts
equality is useless
without an equal start

credits

from SpinTunes #6: Round 3, released February 26, 2013

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Spintown Middletown, Ohio

I run a songwriting contest called SpinTunes. Most of the material hosted on this account is a result of that contest. You can follow the contest on Twitter (@SpinTunes) or my personal account (@Spintown).

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