32 Different Voices

"32 Different Voices" by Eric Friedberg

[News Broadcast] Tens of thousands of students, faculty, and family
members gathered yesterday at Virginia Tech to mourn the victims of
Monday’s school massacre that left 33 people dead. It was the deadliest
school shooting in U.S. history.

Somewhere a mother is identifying the body of her only son
A catholic, she crosses herself and begs the chosen one
For strength to reduce the shiv inside, her soul goes numb
Because there’s no bringing him back
When the cameras close new shows are done
Channel surfers listen lives are memorialized

The father misses his daughter and the more that he tries
To remember the times that were good, the more that he cries
The less he can sleep ‘cause every time he closes his eyes
He sees the fear in her heart, his heart skippin’ a beat
His stomach turns and his pain reaches so deep he can’t eat

In a hospital bed rest a boy who thinks it should have been him
Images he carrys hurt far worse than a bullet through skin
And he’s pretty sure he’d trade what’s infected his mind
For all his luck plus the two inches between the lead and his spine

And a brother calls a brother to tell him they’ve lost their mother
Thirty-two voices sing along each of them different from the others

[News Broadcast] The gunman has not yet been identified, but the
university had just announced he was a student at the school who lived
in the dorms. He shot dead two students at the dormitory shortly after
seven o’clock Monday morning. Two hours later the gunman attacked an
academic building. He shot dead thirty students and professors then killed

A father reconsiders his decision to make his home in the land of opportunity
‘Cause the opportunities shown, made him believe it’s different
He left his baby on her own and now he carries a casket, in his heart he feels alone

A son calls his father a hero then he hangs up the phone
Warrior blood in his veins from the pain that his father’d known
What monsters had tried to do half a century in the past
The frustrated youth had done, the son didn’t have to ask

Another family lay in ruins
A mother with desperation to ponder as she folded her boy's flag
A soldier's death, no medal of honor

What do you tell a parent who put they had into raising their kids
And watched them go astray and couldn’t explain why they did
Who tried to give them what they had and couldn’t change how they lived
And hate themself for the fact they took away others kids
How do ease their pain, help them come to terms with their choices
They all sing the same song with 32 different voices

[News Broadcast] I’m really at a loss for words to explain or to understand
the carnage that has visited our campus. I know no other- no other way to
speak about this than to tell you what we know. Let me do that now. It is
now confirmed that we have 31 deaths from the Norris Hall, including the

This song is dedicated to all of the families and victims involved in the
shooting at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007 and all other victims of gun
violence all over the world. May you all rest in peace.