In the Event of an Emergency: A song

UPDATE: This song has been re-recorded with updated lyrics and a stand-up bass.

I’m out. It’s surfaced. I can’t hide. I am crawling out of a life of hypocrisy… one where I proclaimed the virtues of authenticity, and yet, was not bare bones, soul exposed, whole-hearted real.

Forgive me, please.

Sometimes we hide ourselves for safety because we’ve been hurt before or fear a future of pain. Sometimes, we hide our true self for fear we might hurt others.

My history of hiding is complex. And to be fair, I’ve not been fully cloaked. I’ve flashed my goods in poems, at the odd wedding, campfire, and late night “had one too many” rampage.  But authenticity should not be a part time gig.

When you read my LinkedIn profile, Facebook page (for people I actually know) or Twitter feed, no where can you find this one real seam of my being: a crack of vulnerability that conceals my inner strength and true person. It’s sewn with threads of my DNA, life experience and, as I’m learning, my potential and what I dream for the world.

And so here it is: I sing. 

More than that, I sing from the threads of my being. And I don’t sing often enough.

My commitment to you – those that have encouraged me to be my true, authentic self – is to sing more and share it.

As a start, here is a song, freshly poured for my fellow change makers in the world: the best company a girl could have.

It is nearly naked: acoustic with a tiny bit of reverb and recorded in one shot with no editing… I hope this makes up for my hypocrisy.

In the Event of an Emergency (find your strength)

Some people worry about money.

Others they fret about tests.

Some carry the burden of romantic hurting:

Worthwhile stresses I guess, I guess

But in the event…. of an emergency

Don’t cover your head

Or put it between your knees,

Find your strength… in this company.

Cause the seas will rise and the storms will rage,

That’s what you get when you’ve got climate change.

Yeah we got climate, climate change.

Critics and doubters, sure we’ll have ’em

But followers more, there will be.

It’s simple attraction

To life satisfaction.

To love and profound harmony.

But in the event…. of an emergency

Don’t cover your head

Or put it between your knees,

Find your strength… in this company.

Cause the lies will grow and the tempers enrage,

That’s what you get when you need social change.

Yeah we need social, social change.

It’s a story of courage and love,

Of do gooders and progressive change

That will carry us forward, together, onward.

Say it with me now: Ashe

So in the event…. of an emergency

Don’t cover your head

Or put it between your knees,

Find your strength… in this company.

Find your strength… in this company.

(Back story: I had this song partially written when I arrived at Social Change Institute 2013… and was inspired by the beautiful people there. It emerged after a long day of intense listening, thinking and caring… and once I had a soak in the ocean side hot tub at Hollyhock.)

About Heather

A working mother and a passionate student of the planet we live on. I care about nothing more than sharing what I know to make life easier for other people and lives in general. I’m playful and creative, and will express my very malleable opinion in interesting ways.


  1. I love it, Heather! You really do need to sing more often…

  2. Mike Sherman

    You’ve got some serious pipes, my friend. Amazing!

    • Thanks Mike!

      It has been a while since I’ve really applied myself in this realm (like, high school). Still a lot of cob webs there, but I plan to get some training and to find a great ensemble to join.

      I’m really appreciating the encouragement :)

  3. Pingback: Hug life: Sometimes activists need to retreat, recharge, and embrace the “woo” | Grist

  4. Theodora Lamb

    Just. So. Awesome. I look forward to hearing more music from you, Heather. I think a star has been born ;)

  5. Pingback: A Journey with the Social Change Institute « Interaction Institute for Social Change Blog

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