Why Not?

Words and music Creative Commons License 2001 by Jim Bearden

A quote often used by Robert F. Kennedy, paraphrased from one originally by George Bernard Shaw, was “Some men see things as they are and say, why? I dream things that never were and say, why not?” That seemed like a good starting theme for a song, and I painted the following picture around it.

Verse 1:
I see us walking up a mountain path, to that rock beneath the falls,
Me with my camera, you with your paints and pad;
Or in an east-side barrio, where hope’s hemmed in by more than walls,
As I’m looking at our pictures – the different visions we had:

Chorus:
My world is sharp edges, dark gray walls, clear blue sky;
Yours is softer pastels, seen through a painter’s eye.
For I see the world as it is, and ask, “Why?”
But you see what it might become, and ask, “Why not?”

Bridge:
One view, without the other, would be just half what we could see –
Just as I, without you, would be so much less than I could be.

Verse 2:
And in our daily work, what we do mirrors what we see:
My pictures show the world, without its makeup on;
While you’re saving kids from lives of misery;
So I’m aiming for the top, but you’re going above and beyond.

Chorus

Bridge

Chorus

End:
I see, and ask, “Why?” — you dream, and ask, “Why not?”

 

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