I was just going to take a quick glance at the inauguration ceremony as it was in progress—just to get a sense of how things were going. But once I started watching, I was riveted to the screen. And then there were the emotions. For me, they were stronger than I might have expected.

I talked to quite a few people who said the same thing of their emotional response to the inauguration. Some said, "I was surprised by my tears." That would apply to me as well.

And so, here is a song about those tears and what they might mean.

Lyrics

Taken by My Tears

When you raised your right hand and took your solemn vow
All across the land we said, “Things will be different now!”
After all that’s battered us through these broken years
When you spoke, I was taken by my tears

When I think of where you traveled to be there on that day
Imagining the battles you fought along the way
And all the ones ahead of you, the promises, the fears
When you spoke, I was taken by my tears

Maybe I didn’t know how deep my hurt was
As your country tore itself apart
Maybe I didn’t know how strong my hope was
Maybe you just placed hope in my heart

No one can bring back the lives that have been lost
As we mournfully keep track of narcissism’s cost
So as I heard the plan to finally stem the tide
I shouldn’t be surprised that I cried

BREAK

I cried for the love, then I cried for the pain
I cried for the hope that, never again
Would we ever see such callous arrogance, and lies
I cried for all of us who’ve cried

We cry to think that unity might be within our reach
We cry for those who care for us, we cry for those who teach
We cry for all the creatures who have needlessly died
We cry at the surprise that we have cried

Had I let the darkness overtake me?
Thinkin’ there was nothing to be done
Did it take your words to make me
See the rising of the sun?

Do my tears make me naive, like some circus clown?
Will all of this euphoria soon come crashing down?
Or do we cry in unison to think what just might be
One more chance to chart a course for life and liberty?

When you raised your right hand and took your solemn vow
All across the land we said, “Things will be different now!”
After all that’s battered us through these broken years
When you spoke, I was taken by my tears
When you spoke, I was taken by my tears

© Gary Poole 2021