The static comes in slow
You can feel it grow
Our stream of conscience flows
Under the streets below
Oh, oh

The river's made of sound
Still running underground
Runs like a silent flood
We run as thick as blood

Can you hear it rise
Up from the ground
Can't drown it out
Can you hear it now

This is the sound
Of a heartbeat
This is the sound
From the discontented mouths
Of a haunted nation
We are the voice of breaking
Down
Can you hear me?
This is the sound
Of a desperation bound
By our own collision
We are the voice of breaking
Down

The static comes alive
Beneath the broken skies
John Perkins said it right
Love is the final fight
Oh, oh

Let it rise above
Rise above
There is no song
Louder than love

This is the sound
Of a heartbeat
This is the sound
From the discontented mouths
Of a haunted nation
We are the voice of breaking
Down
Can you hear me?
This is the sound
Of a desperation bound
By our own collision
We are the voice of breaking
Down
Down

Let it rise above
Up from the ground
Can't drown it out
Can you hear it now

This is the sound
Of a heartbeat
This is the sound
From the discontented mouths
Of a haunted nation
We are the voice of breaking
Down
Can you hear me?
This is the sound
Of a desperation bound
By a falling condition
We are the voice of breaking
Down

This is the sound
This is the sound


Lyrics submitted by Loona3

The Sound (John M. Perkins' Blues) song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThis song is amazing! I first heard it on the Blackberry Stone commercial. Then I heard a cover of it. A really good cover. And then I looked up when the album was coming out, and whaddya know? It came out today! Anyway, I think the song is about how we need help because we're destroying all that belongs to us.
    hellohurricaneon November 10, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentJon Foreman- "This was the last minute addition to the record. When we were making the final list, I showed this song to Tim (he's my first line of defense- If it gets past Tim, then there's a chance we'll track it). He was as excited as I was. We wanted to have a song with a steady, relentless pulse on the record and we all knew that this one fit the bill. The chorus was originally much more of a straightforward lyric, maybe too much so. So we redid the chorus and began to rewrite the verse lyrics to match the chorus vibe.

    Lyrically, I feel like this song is a corollary of Hello Hurricane. I was reading a book at the time, Let Justice Roll Down- it's the autobiography of John Perkins, given to me by a friend of mine. I was struck by Perkins’ honesty and humility. He describes the Jim Crow world of not so very long ago with brutal honesty. We are a haunted nation. Whether we admit it or not, the past runs through our veins. Listen to the streets, they'll tell you the same. We can cover up our racism and narrow-minded bigotry with excuses and time but the sins of the past cry out from the ground. The undercurrents from our history are always buzzing around our ears. But rising above the constant gnawing of past wrongs is the song of Love. Love is the reconciliation. The deliberate act of forgiveness. The deliberate act of moving forward unencumbered by the past. This is the sound. This is the sound."
    cheeseninjaon November 11, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYES! Such an awesome song. My fave from the album
    I think the line "This is the sound, from the discontented mouths" sums the feel of the perfectly.
    This song is about determination to be heard, a sound nobody should ignore. Sadly, top dogs around teh world ignore it. Jon's explanation was riveting and thanks for posting it but, cheeseninja, lets hear your opinion
    NewOweNon November 15, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYES! Such an awesome song. My fave from the album
    I think the line "This is the sound, from the discontented mouths" sums the feel of the perfectly.
    This song is about determination to be heard, a sound nobody should ignore. Sadly, top dogs around teh world ignore it. Jon's explanation was riveting and thanks for posting it but, cheeseninja, lets hear your opinion
    NewOweNon November 15, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think he wants people to listen to something that means a lot to him. His heart beats for it and it's so powerful you "can't drown it out".
    misstwiggsteron September 14, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My Opinion
    I don't buy it.

    This is not history. This is not the past. This is the voice of the generation now entering the workforce; trying to build their lives on the ruins left in the wake of past generations' squandering.

    This is a crying out, indeed, and a hopeful wake-up call. But what can so few who hear 'the sound' do when the rest prefer to be deaf to it?

    Kudos to Switchfoot, and the generation of a nation hoping to be heard. At least -they're- listening to the kids. Nobody else is.
    mindhuntresson September 18, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJon Foreman- "The Sound (John Perkins' Blues) is a very important song for us as a band. I see so much hatred and fear around me, I see so many people living out their pain. I hear it on the radio. I see it in the headlines. John Perkins' story needs to be heard. This song was inspired by a man who sang a louder song than hatred. In a world where we are defined by our differences, Mr. Perkins' life of service and compassion is a tangible demonstration of what it means to live a life of love. Love is the loudest song we could sing. Louder than racism. Louder than fear. Louder than hatred. John Perkins said it right, love is the final fight. We're excited to hear this song on the radio, louder than pain."
    FretNoton February 21, 2013   Link

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