Growing up in the political climate in South Africa exposed me to how little people actually listen to each other. We are so often caught up in making ourselves heard that we ignor those around us. It is the same in families - everyone is so busy trying to get their point across that they never 'hear' anyone else and at the same time feel that they are being unheard.

RaiseI wrote this song while driving through Germany with some friends back in 1999. There we were - two South Africans, a German and a Croatian - having a political discussion - very dangerous territory! I was on the outskirts of that debate so I got to watch their passionate expressions in the rearview mirror as they each tried to push their point across with resulting frustration on all parts. When we arrived in Kiel where we were staying we went down to the beach, and I wrote the lyrics there.

In the eight years (yikes) since I wrote this song it has come to be one of my favourites and seems to resonate with people. The message for me has shifted to also incorporate the impact we can have when listen to one another powerfully and from there raise our voices to effect change in society. It is only through people finding their voices and speaking their truth that anything ever changes. I love that this song can be played a big rock concert and then again at a charity benefit to get people inspired to contribute, raise money, raise awareness and be counted!

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Raise Copyright 1999 Verity

We sat in your car –  talked about where our parents went wrong 
Intellectualizing everybody else’s mistakes. Shouted each other down –
watched our reflections frowning. Comparing deep-rooted opinions again.

Chorus: If we raise our voices just enough…
If we raise our…if we raise our... If we raise our voices – someone should be listening!

Walked down the street – hurling abuse across the tar. Interfering in ideas that were not ours. Not hearing a word – our mouths kept on moving. Hoping our ideas would be heard

Chorus: If we raise our voices just enough…

Eat your own words – nothing comes from this screaming. Watch your thoughts, watch them lose their meaning. All said and done, nothing’s been accomplished. But that we’re angry and no one is listening!!!

Coffee shops and station stops, dinner tables and TV services. 
Expound what we were told in the first place. Lecture halls and charity balls,
check-out counters and maternity wards. Throw it all back in your face.

If we raise our voices just enough.
Someone should be listening!