They Taught Us

They Taught Us

Amanda Rose Riley's picture



They Taught Us (50/90 Challenge)

Liner Notes: 

Interesting one for me since I had the idea for this as a teenager (over 10 years ago). Nearing the end of my first FAWM and 50/90 year, one of my favorite results of the challenges is that I'm finishing up a lot of old ideas and getting them out there. But looking back at my old ideas makes me sad in a way, because a lot of them, I might have been *extremely* passionate about when I was a teenager, but then I look back at them now and I feel nothing, because I'm not in that headspace anymore. It's sad because I would absolutely love to have those completed songs to look back on, but because I didn't finish them when I was in that space, I probably never will. This makes me all the more eager to write the songs that currently spark a fire in me NOW, because 10 years from now I'll be in a new headspace, in a different life, and will feel passionate about different ideas. I probably won't write these songs then, so I have to write them now so I'll always have them to look back on later.

Anyway, back to this song. I really didn't write down much when I had the initial idea, but it was supposed to be an anti-war song about the hypocrisy of a culture that says "violence is wrong" but thinks war is a good solution to international issues. Looking back at it, the few lines I had seemed silly and poorly written, so I basically didn't keep any of them. The only parts I kept were the title and then, I had the ending idea, "But I guess they were right, the adults talk it out while they make their children fight," which had a cool sound, but I had to update it because I just didn't feel like it said precisely what I meant. BTW I feel like the clarity in my writing has improved by 1000% since July and I love it!


When we were young they taught us
(They taught us, ooh they taught us)
That we should always share
You don't need to keep anything all to yourself
When you aren't using it and there's plenty of it there

When we were young they taught us
(They taught us, ooh they taught us)
You talk your issues out
You're never gonna need to raise your hand in violence
The bigger person always knows how to go without

And now I can't understand why
Those who are born with less
Get told it's their tough luck
And now, I can't understand how
A person is collateral damage
In a battle where the prize is just cheap fuel

But I guess they never really lied
Since they really seem to think that different principles apply
When the object of good will's a child of their friend
Than when they're far away and poor, with slightly darker skin
But then they taught us too well
Created these monsters of peace and love
And despite what they think, no matter how much we see and how much we suffer
We're never, ever, ever gonna see the world the way that they do

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


metalfoot's picture

I think you've struck on something here. Very insightful lyrics. I like the way you ended the song as well, somewhat unresolved.

nancyrost's picture

I like the idea that hypocritical authority figures have created "monsters of peace and love" who take them at their word. And I think the music reflects the determination and optimism of the direction the words take.