30 Seconds

Soon after someone read the news into a mike
The first time the atmosphere in the room was kinda like
That was cool – but if we did another take
It could be so much cooler with a music break
And of course these days we know that scientifically
Words when sung are processed by your brain quite differently
They’re dangerous, they’re powerful – best kept under wraps
Selling romance or the Army, toilet rolls and tourist traps

But if I could have 30 seconds of your time
I’d just add a little context to the story of the crime
For which the judge that they just mentioned found was not a crime at all
Although the little girl in the backseat saw her mother’s boyfriend fall
In a hail of bullets fired by the cop who stopped his car
Try explaining that to the kids – “twinkle twinkle little star
and oh yes, little children, something you should understand
Each time you drive home from work you take your life into your hands”

Yes if I could have 30 seconds of your day
After we’ve all heard what the pundits have to say
About the civil war, preceded by the drought
I’d just tell a story, a few short lines about
A girl who was dressed up in her nicest blouse
It’s what she wore the day when the bomber bombed her house
The same thing she had on when she drifted out of reach
After her raft had capsized, before she washed up on the beach

If I could have 30 seconds of your hour
After they’ve discussed the burning of the tower
I’d consider it my job if there were such an occupation
To take just a moment to humanize the situation
Because each person in that building who died that fearsome night
Could hear the plastic melting as they watched it burn so bright
Each story is a universe that begs to be explored
Is this a half minute that the network can afford?