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:

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?”

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.




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


Contact me about this song: