Another shooting on the southeast side. This a drive-by, mid-day,
Outside of the bus stop, by Fuller and Franklin. Or near there.
Not far from the park. About a block from where the other shooting was last month.
Or was it last week?

Shots were fired from an SUV heading northbound, Eastown,
The target a rival but they didn't hit the target this time.
They hit a kid we think had nothing to do with it.

And I travel backwards through time and space and I disintegrate, become invisible.
I want to see it where I couldn't when it happened.
I want to see it all first hand this time.
I want to know what it felt like.

So I float behind police lines, reconstruct the scene in fragments of memories.
I want to know what his mother looked like up close, I want to see her leaning over his body.
So I float there, transcend time. I want to capture it accurately.
I want to know what the color of the blood was spilling out from the tarp onto the concrete.
I want to write it all down so I can always remember.
If you could see it up close how could you ever forget how senseless death, how precious life.
I want to be there when the bullet hit.

And the crowd poured out as the shots drowned into siren sounds, out of there houses now
And over front yards, all the way up to the place where the police tape ran to mark the crime
Scene. Everybody trying to catch a glimpse of what was happening,
Of what was going on between the ambulance and all the cop cars.
Everybody gossiping, “Whose kid got hit? Where'd it hit him? And who could've fired it?”
Everybody wondering, “How did it happen again? And is he dead? These children. Our kids.”
Everybody wondering how far they were from where the victims lived.

And I visit them, their houses. Inside my dream I visit them.
My spirit, soaring high and high up over King Park, leaves the crime scene, travels further back
Till far before the shooting, through their windows, to their living rooms.
I see them younger this time, playing games and doing homework.
All these marks of youth soon transformed coldly into stone for fights and stupid feuds.
For ruins wrapped in gold. And cruelly I recall why I have come: To find a reason. But
There cannot be a reason, not for death, not like this. Not like this.

Three days later they made funeral plans. The family.
Three days later a mother had to bury her son.

Not far away the shooter holed up in a hotel near to the highway with a friend and the gun.
That same gun. He'd fled immediately but was identified by witnesses, his picture on TV.
Only 20 years old, they called him “Grandpa.” He was older than the others by a year,
Maybe two.

And he was safe for awhile until somebody saw him there and notified the authorities
Who surrounded the hotel, first arresting an accomplice while attempting to flee,
Then chasing him up the staircase to the floor where he'd stayed. He closed the door hard
Behind him, locked himself in the room.

They could've kicked in the door but knew the gun was still with him,
One he'd already used and so they feared what he'd do.
I floated up through the window of a room to the West.
I hovered out to the hallway, tried to listen in.
I heard them trying to reason, get him to open the door.
His uncle begging and pleading, half-collapsed to the floor.
He preached of hope and forgiveness,
Said, “There is always a chance to rectify what you've taken, make your peace in the world.”
I thought to slip through the door, I could've entered the room,
I felt the burden of murder, it shook the earth to the core.
Felt like the world was collapsing. Then we heard him speak,
“Can I still get into heaven if I kill myself?
Can I still get into heaven if I kill myself?
Can I ever be forgiven cause I killed that kid?
It was an accident I swear it wasn't meant for him!
And if I turn it on me, if I even it out, can I still get in or will they send me to hell?
Can I still get into heaven if I kill myself?”
I left the hotel behind, don't want to know how it ends.



Lyrics submitted by Beams


King Park song meanings
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21 Comments

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  • +3
    General Comment:"Can I still get into heaven if I kill myself?"

    Such power and emotion in that line.
    polinawon January 21, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:I agree that the question screamed at the end is extremely powerful, but the lines that struck a chord with me the most in this song were
    "Three days later they made funeral plans. The family.
    Three days later a mother had to bury her son."
    Now there is the ultimate tragedy- a mother burying her son.
    modestmooseon February 01, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:La Dispute makes me proud to be from Grand Rapids. Such passion over such dreary topics.
    AdonnJohnon November 13, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:"Can I still get into heaven if I kill myself?" such a powerful question, such a powerful line.
    elbasztaon December 22, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:If anyone wants to read about the shooting:

    wzzm13.com/news/…
    wwmt.com/articles/…
    mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2008/09/…

    After first listening to the album, this song definitely struck me the most. It's definitely my favorite of the album. The emotions in this song are crazy powerful. Not to mention, the lyrics are beautifully written. It's overwhelming.
    raerequiemon February 18, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:This song is one of the most powerful I've ever heard. It's just...gripping. It forces you to listen, cling to every word, go into a trance. At the end where it builds up, it's almost impossible to not become a little shaken by it. The sound of the gun loading at the end of the song after he's left, if you're one of the people who have taken note of it, is enough to be close to shocking. They must have put so much thought into this to make it able to have this intense effect on the listeners, and must be not only musically, but psychologically talented.
    AlexCanFlyyyon March 25, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:King Park is a few blocks away from where I live, it's at Fuller and Franklin and my place is right off of Fuller and Fulton so I remember this incident well. Whole story is quite sad and this song is really powerful in its ability to convey the emotion the neighborhood felt.
    fullcollapseonimpacton April 04, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:He doesn't want to kill himself because he is suicidal and has no where else to go, he wants to kill himself to counteract the shooting, in a philosophical way. In his eyes, killing himself would even things out, but he is unsure if that will get him into heaven.
    caseylane12on April 26, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:Has anybody else noticed the perspective of the lyrics? I find it interesting how the narrator began curious, but he couldn't find it in himself to stay for the ending.
    Miellaton January 21, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:Just found this song.. Crazy amazing.. Does anyone know if it was based on a true story? So sad..
    NicLou23on January 19, 2012   Link

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