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Joel Balzer Raps for Respect


(Joel Balzer)


Can you hear it?  Can you touch it?

Can you feel it coming?  Can you hear it?

It’s a whisper.  It’s a breath on the wind

It’s the silence of the morning a dream just forming

         When you’re lying asleep

(and the dawn is in slippers and light begins to sweep)


The question I’m asking …Is why are you here?

Who are you now?  Who will you become?

Who are the demons who cause you to run?

What are the visions you chase?  Where will your dreams lead you?

What roads will you take?

What sirens beckon, and what is the price that the piper will reckon?


To live in this world, you want to be known.

You can’t stand alone.  You’re looking for home.

But to share space on in this building,

Or even on this planet earth,

We need to be aware of the other ones first … RESPECT!


In order to work,

Side by side, day in and day out

Take a moment to listen what this rap’s all about:

You know why we’re here?  To talk about rules …

But life by law turns us all into fools

So we need to understand,

(we need to be cool)

There’s reasons behind these demands:  they aren’t cruel.


You need an education – knowledge is a gold mine –

It’s YOUR future, your life, that’s stretched on the line

You know where I’m going, you know what comes next.

What I’m talking about here is nothing but RESPECT!


Yes there are laws, “consequences” for this and for that

So there’s things you must know,

The lean and the fat.


When a student gets “kicked out” - the word is “expelled”

The decision is about more, than some kid who rebelled

Its all about being SAFE,

And caring for others,

We’re talkin’ RESPECT, for the sisters and brothers.


You don’t make things safe, using violence or hate

Bring a weapon to school

You seal your own fate

A gun or a knife, you know it ain’t right

We ALL got hostility and problems

- We don’t expect all to be peace and light

But we got conflict mediation

We got the Wellness and more

It’s all about RESPECT.  Like I said it before


Alcohol and drugs, Marijuana, Ecstasy

is illegal at school

It will compromise your thinking

         when you need that brain as a tool

That’s why the state says “No, you can’t do that!”

         Most bosses find you stoned

You collect your coat and your hat

 See, for you it’s a job or maybe college

That’s our goal, a target we aim at

Of course we want more for you,

Than just a “job” to pay the bills

We’re hoping you become someone who loves knowledge

and the joy that love fills


A school then needs to be a place

That’s secure and that’s safe

And the way to make it so is to banish fear and hate

Your teachers need to teach

- We owe you that

But to do teaching they need structure

You know what’s coming next

What we’re talking about is respect


So can you hear it coming, need I said it again

Respect!  Respect!  That’s the thing that will win,


So its way bigger than rules, its nothing so crass

We’re talking about treating each other with class

When we use a slur, a word that attacks another

Whether its about sex or religion or even skin color

Our words can tear down or they can build up,

Its respect we’re talking about, it will smooth out the rough


To live in this world.  We NEED to be known.

We can’t stand alone.  We’re working for home.

But to share space on in this building

Or even on this planet earth

We need to be aware of the other ones first:  RESPECT!


Sure the police and the laws, of the Californian state

Demand punishment for those who would steal or hate

But we want more for Lincoln

And more for our town.

We want more for you

We want more … can you hear the sound?


Is it coming?  Is it near?

Or are we living in fear?

Is it coming?  Is it close? 

Respect!  Respect!  Respect knows!