"King Park" as written by and Chad William Sterenberg Jordan Lee Dreyer....
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 wanna see it where I couldn’t when it happened
I wanna 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 wanna know what his mother looked like up close
I wanna see her leaning over his body
So I float there, transcend time
I wanna capture it accurately
I wanna know what the color of the blood was
Spilling out from the tarp onto the concrete
I wanna 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 wanna be there when the bullet hit

And the crowd poured out as the shots drowned into siren sounds
Out of their 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 live
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
Til 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 wanna know how it ends


Lyrics submitted by Beams

"King Park" as written by Chad William Sterenberg Jordan Lee Dreyer

Lyrics © Songtrust Ave

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King Park song meanings
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22 Comments

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  • +5
    General Comment"Can I still get into heaven if I kill myself?"

    Such power and emotion in that line.
    polinawon January 21, 2012   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningThe song is about a drive by shooting in Grand Rapids. A 20 y/o named Kyle Keenan shot a 16 y/o named David Witherspoon. Kyle was trying to shoot someone from a rival gang (one of david's friends.) when they got off the bus. david was walking with his friends then shots were fired and the one bullet that hit someone hit david, who had nothing to do with the gangs. kyle fled the scene and went to a hotel with his friend, and was safe until someone recognized him. they called the police and they arrived at the hotel, arrested an accomplice trying to get away from the hotel, and went after kyle. kyle then locked himself in the room and called his family, asking if he could still get into heaven if he killed himself, and he ended up shooting himself. the song is about two kids who didn't have to die. jordan does an amazing job making the listeners feel the pain that the families, witnesses, and even Kyle felt. "can i still get into heaven if i kill myself" is a very powerful line. it makes you feel the guilt that kyle was feeling. the song shows many sides to the story, and thats what makes it amazing.
    iamkanyeon February 16, 2014   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI 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 CommentIf 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
  • +2
    General CommentLa 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 CommentThis 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 CommentKing 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 CommentHe 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 CommentHas 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

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