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27 Heartbeats

from Pirate Queen by Nico Padden

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lyrics

27 Heartbeats

27 little heartbeats
27 pairs of eyes
27 little voices
That never fail to surprise

27 questions
27 first tries
27 stumble and falls
27 little cries

They tumble into my classroom
All shiny hope and growth
They learn new words and how to be kind
Their little faces give me hope

But every day I swallow the thought
If we are next in this onslaught—

How can I keep them alive?
Can I be strong, will I Be brave,
Can I think fast enough to save
My 27 little learners
How can i keep them alive?

27 when I grow ups
27 secret fears
27 innocent dreams
27 sets of listening ears
They listen to the words we say
They watch the things we do
Do they know in their 27 little hearts
That we don’t regard their human value?

Because every day I swallow the thought
If we are next in this onslaught—

How can I keep them alive?
Can I be strong, will I Be brave,
Can I think fast enough to save
My 27 little babies
How can i keep them alive?

Lock the door, pull the screen, shut the lights, be still, still, still
The quiet game, a prize for the winner
They know the drill, drill, drill

A little hand sneaks into mine
My hot tears drip on the floor
What will I do if they come for us?
Anything, I will.

27 little heartbeats
27 pairs of eyes
27 little voices
I won’t let you silence

I will keep them alive
I will be strong, I will Be brave,
Will I get lucky enough to save
Their 27 little heartbeats
Please God, help me keep them alive.

credits

from Pirate Queen, released January 28, 2022
Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Timpani: Nico Padden
Cello: James Acampora

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Nico Padden Queens, New York

One-woman folk-rock riot.

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