The escalating tension and profiling of people of color in our society is something we cannot tolerate anymore. Some people might explicitly point this out as police brutality, but the case of Ahmaud Arbery and so many others who are punished for being visibly different than the entitled white conservatives who inflict this unjust violence has shown it to be endemic of and an epidemic in society as a whole. This song explicitly calls out the ignition point of George Floyd as the nadir of where we've gotten to, and while it mourns those who perpetuate this violence there is also a celebration of coming together of all people who are demanding justice and an end to the hatred and persecution. Sometimes the blues are not just crying over broken spirits, but a celebration of perseverance and a call to action to come together - this is my hope for us.


People gather in pairs, in groups, in crowds
To remember these words whispered like a shout out loud
Nothing noble, but still truly profound
You would need to listen hard, listen for their sound
The people watching did whatever they could
The man who kneeled on his neck I’m sure he understood
I can’t breathe, man

Eight minutes and forty six seconds was what it took
To extinguish one flame, ignite the fire in the roots
No one knew this spark could enflame people so quick
Branch to branch, leaf to leaf, word of mouth like rubbing two sticks
These words make it clear, there’s no compromises here
I can't breathe, man!
I can't breathe, man!

<guitar solo>

The riot gear, disregard of human rights, the gas bringing up tears
The chants of the protestors are still ringing in my ears
We may be black, white, brown, yellow, red
What’s the reason more of one color ends up dead?
Those words are shouted, there are no compromises here
I can't breathe, man

All the while an orange man leers and smiles
Refusing blame for everything but stoking the fire with his words
Speaking in forked tongue things his people want to hear
While the rest of us stand in horror, our eyes filled with tears
In frustration we march, chant these words and stand our ground
I can't breathe, man!
I can't breathe, man!
I can't breathe, man!


from To sleep perchance to dream, released December 31, 2020
Durga McBroom - lead and harmony vocals
Robert Svilpa - keyboards, guitars, background vocals
Robeone - electric piano, synth and mellotron
Jerry Marotta - drums
Marc Miller - bass guitar


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Robert Svilpa Orlando, Florida

Robert Svilpa is an independent Progressive Rock multi-instrumental artist, vocalist & musician with four full releases available on Spotify, Amazon Music, YT Music, iTunes, Pandora & many other networks.

Robert Svilpa - guitars, keyboards, bass & vocals

Andy Edwards, Jimmy Keegan, John Jowitt, Todd Sucherman, Durga McBroom, Brian Timpe,
Sean Fairchild,
Marc Miller, Chris Cullman & more
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