At 2:21 PM EST on February 14, 2018, a regular day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was interrupted by the unthinkable – a gunman opened fire, killing 17 students and injuring another 17 individuals. What should have been a day of love and friendship turned into a national day of mourning, grief, and anger. The incident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas was not the first nor is it the last school shooting, yet America’s ruling elite have only addressed gun control on the margins. Students across the US, however, have refused to be quiet. They continue be actively engaged, from starting petitions; writing to their representatives, senators, and governors; and holding protest. Today, many are eligible to vote.
With the two-year anniversary of this tragic event approaching, indie-rock quartet Surfer Blood have released a song to commemorate those whose lives were taken far too soon, acknowledge the courage of the people who advocate for stricter gun control, and ensure a nation never forgets what happened. The song is “Parkland (Into the Silence)”, which has multiple meanings.
The track sees the Florida natives return to their college-radio, indie-rock roots. Catchy riffs and groovy rhythms envelop the air while front man John Paul Pitts delivers a moving memorial that is also a critique. His words, “Just shout into the silence and you’ll be heard”, can be interpreted as the fear the students encountered that day as well as the “thoughts and prayers” that politicans often utter after a tragedy. He then is more forthright in expressing his emotions while applauding tomorrow’s leaders:
“I’m sick and tired of hearing there’s nothing we can do.
This time could be the spark, the start of something new.
Can you see the gatekeepers abandoning their posts?
You’ll rip apart the gridlock.
You’re getting close.”
The lyric video is below. On this Valentine’s Day, instead of spending lavishly on a dinner out and gifts, take the moment to remember and consider what is at stake. 2020 is, after all, an election year.
The band consists of John Paul Pitts, Tyler Schwarz, Mikey McCleary, and Lindsey Mills.
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