Without the Struggle

$3.50

“Without the Struggle” is drawn from a conversation between the composer and one of her homeless friends about his life. Set in the manner of an American folk song, this text celebrates the richness of life even in the face of extreme difficulty and deprivation.  This piece is part of the Forgotten Voices song cycle, and can be purchased as a stand-alone piece, or with the song cycle.

Categories: , ,

Description

Listen & Peruse

Without the Struggle

based on a conversation with Paul S., a member of the Springfield Street Choir

Without the struggle I ain’t me
On the streets, it’s alright, it’s where I belong
If everything is running smooth
then it’s too good
I walk as humble as I can

If it ain’t sweat, blood and tears
then it aint worth living
I am flesh, so I’m gonna feed the flesh
And if I can feed the spirit,
well, it needs fed too
I am gonna do me while I can

Without the struggle, I ain’t me
On the streets, it’s alright, it’s where I belong
A person comes in all shapes and forms
I should come in small doses
But I don’t

Without the struggle I ain’t me
On the streets, it’s alright, it’s where I belong
If everything is running smooth
then it’s too good
I walk as humble as I can

And oh, there’s smiles out there
And oh, when you get those smiles
God it’s good, you know?
God it’s good.
But the rest of it is hard
So I live hard

“This text is based on an interview I did with my friend Paul on a cold February night as we stood outside the Connecting Grounds church, surrounded by crowds of other homeless people, ducking into the church for warmth, then back out to smoke, rinse, and repeat. At the time of this interview, Paul had been out on the street for about 8 years, and was on any number of drugs. Just about a month after this interview, he got sober, and has maintained that sobriety to this day. He is also off the street now, living with his mother. 

Paul is a someone who is a welter of contradictions – a spectacularly articulate man who isn’t afraid to throw a punch, someone who loves very deeply but who has been hurt in impossible ways, and who has a rap sheet that says he carries the potential for danger, but who has only ever made me feel safe and protected to have him around. Knowing how much he has struggled, I am so proud of the progress he has made. ” – Katie Kring