You Don’t Have To Yell

So I’ve mentioned my appreciation of Chris Rice, but in case you missed it the first time, I’m posting another of my favorite songs, titled You Don’t Have to Yell. I have included the full lyrics below, but would like to highlight the lines that I especially like, or more accurately, the verse:

Everybody take a breath
Why are all your faces red?
We’re missing all the words you said
You don’t have to yell
Draw your lines
And choose your sides
Cause many thing are worth the fight
But louder doesn’t make you right
You don’t have to yell…

To me, the whole message of this song is the constant tension between dogmatism and tolerance. I don’t keep up much on the news on a daily basis, because so much of it seems irrelevant, I can’t trust the mainstream media, and things are always more complicated than they want it to appear. In politics, the Democrats want to say the Republicans are wrong, and the Republicans are sure that the Democrats are wrong. Everyone thinks they have all the answers and no one else knows anything. Every debate and subject is charged with emotional baggage, it seems impossible to just sit down and logically consider the facts. I think people truly do think that the louder they yell, the bigger their support base, the more donations they receive, all these things must mean they are right. Just because you have 10,000 people show up at a rally with cool signs doesn’t mean you are right. Just because you’re a smooth talker doesn’t mean you are right. Post-modernism has left our culture without any kind of moral standards, and pragmatism has taken over. There is nothing outside of ourselves to validate our beliefs, so we have to keep shouting louder and louder in an attempt to convince the world, and ourselves, that we are right.

So on the one side this song is saying that we need to lower our voices, listen to each other, respect other opinions, and basically be tolerant. And this is important. I believe there is something we can learn from any single person, even those who differ with us on many issues. I never want to be so close-minded I won’t listen to someone else. I can carry on a polite conversation with someone who I completely disagree with, walk away respecting them, but still feeling confident in my beliefs. That is what we need.

On the other hand…there is a line that goes, “draw your lines, and choose your sides, ’cause many things are worth a fight.” By listening to other people and tolerating their beliefs, we are not denying the existence of absolutes. This is still a world with lines to draw and sides to choose. There is still right and wrong and we still have to fight for those things, no matter what. Let’s just not yell 🙂

 

 

You Don’t Have to Yell 

Chris Rice 

So called reality
Right there on my TV
If that’s how life’s suppose to be, well
Somebody’s lying

The camera’s on and we can tell
To keep your fame you have to yell
Cause tensions build
And products sell and
We’re all buying
I hope we’re smarter than this

Everybody take a breath
Why are all your faces red?
We’re missing all the words you said
You don’t have to yell
Draw your lines
And choose your sides
Cause many thing are worth the fight
But louder doesn’t make you right
You don’t have to yell,
Oh, You don’t have to

ye-ye-ye-yell
ye-ye-yeeell
ye-ye-yeeell

You don’t have to yell

I turned in to hear the new
I don’t want you point of view
If that’s the best you can do
Then something’s missin’
And experts on whatever side
You plug your eyes,
You scream your lines
You claim to have an open-mind
But nobody’s listening

But don’t you think,
We’re smarter than this?

Everybody take a breath
Why are all your faces red?
We’re missing all the words you said
You don’t have to yell
Draw your lines
And choose your sides
Cause many thing are worth the fight
But louder doesn’t make you right
You don’t have to yell
Oh, You don’t have to

ye-ye-ye-yell
ye-ye-yeeell
ye-ye-yeeell

You don’t have to yell

Everybody take a breath
Why are all your faces red?
We’re missing all the words you said
You don’t have to yell
If everyone would take a step
Back away and count and count to ten
Clear your mind and start again
then we won’t have to yell
Draw your lines
And choose your sides
Cause many thing are worth the fight
But louder doesn’t make you right
You don’t have to yell
Oh, You don’t have to

ye-ye-ye-yell
ye-ye-yeeell
ye-ye-yeeell

You don’t have to yell

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