The Many Voices Word Karaoke

In celebration of World Poetry Day 2022

Contributors: Carolina C., Cassandra Bousquet, Chloe Chou, Lauren Lin, Rachel Cronin, Ronit Das, Sheridan Stewart

It’s like I’m standing on the edge with just a telephone wire
Trying to get to you first to say the world’s on fire

Holding my breath until I know you’re alright
Because the water will only rise 

So I walk down to the river
Where the troubles, they can't find me

Let the waters there remind me
The sun will be there when we wake

And you call me up again just to break me like a promise
So casually cruel in the name of being honest

I knew you’d linger like a tattoo kiss. 
I knew you’d haunt all of my what ifs.

I’m just a girl in the world,
That’s all you’ll ever let me be! 

If I could go back and change the past 
Be a little braver than I had 

And bet against the odds 
Would I still be lost?

I walk down to the river
Though I might not understand it

It's not always as we planned it
But we grow stronger when we break

Loving him is like driving a new Maserati down a dead-end street
Faster than the wind, passionate as sin, ending so suddenly

It’s born from just one single glance
But it dies, and it dies, and it dies a million little times

Well you do enough talk
My little hawk, why do you cry?

Tell me what did you learn from the Tillamook burn?
Or the Fourth of July? 

And he said, ‘I wonder if this is what heaven is like?’
‘What if it means I’m more dead than alive?’

I don’t believe in Destiny, I just do what’s best for me, 
don't listen to my enemies, they’re just full of jealousy

Far, we’ve been traveling far 
Without a home but not without a star 

Free, only want to be free 
We huddle close, hang on to a dream

In the light you will find the road
Dream until your dreams come true.

Inspired by Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Neil Diamond, Matt the Electrician, Josh Groban, NEFFEX, No Doubt, Olivia Rodrigo & Julia Lester, Sufjan Stevens, Taylor Swift, Led Zeppelin 

*Word Karaoke is a found poetry exercise where students contribute their favorite lines from a song. This exercise was facilitated by San Mateo County Poet Laureate Aileen Cassinetto during the 2022 World Poetry Day Youth Open Mic hosted by Martin Piñol and the South San Francisco Public Library.


“Arranged in words, coloured with images, struck with the right meter, the power of poetry has no match. As an intimate form of expression that opens doors to others, poetry enriches the dialogue that catalyses all human progress, and is more necessary than ever in turbulent times.”

Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General, on the occasion of 2022 World Poetry Day