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Brothers Under the Skin

Words and Music: © 2006 by Tom Smith
This was commissioned to promote the online journal Anthrozine. Doing the drums in particular was a blast.l

We're all brothers under the skin.

(underchorus:
Scales and feathers, hide and fur,
hiss and shriek and growl and purr,
Fang and claw and hoof and spur,
Not like you? Don't be so sure....)

A hundred thousand years ago
Who can say, who can know?
Man was a beast, or might have been,
Perhaps the beasts were really men.

The fights we fought, the deeds we dared,
The risks and burdens all were shared.
Though each tribe had a different name,
We knew that we were all the same.

We're all brothers under the skin,
We're all brothers under the skin.

And then one day there came a man
Who noticed there was change at hand,
To hold, to seize, to wield tools,
To make new things, to break the rules.

As humans strengthened every grip,
Into the shadows beasts did slip,
Astounded, angry, and afraid,
Confounded that they'd been betrayed.

We're all brothers under the skin,
We're all brothers under the skin.

How quickly our brotherhood was forgotten,
How blithely our differences pushed us apart.
How can we be so cruel to our family?
How dare we hurt those we held in our heart?

A hundred thousand years gone by,
And men no longer question why.
They say the world was always theirs,
And it's a world that no one shares.

But in the shadows, in the night,
In dreams gone wrong and hopes gone right,
The beasts who walked along with men
Await our time to rise again.

And you can never make us kneel,
For, unlike you, we live to feel.
Each pain and passion make us real,
Your deepest secrets, we reveal.

Scales and feathers, hide and fur,
Hiss and shriek and growl and purr,
Fang and claw and hoof and spur,
Not like you? Don't be so sure --

We're all brothers under the skin
We're all brothers under the skin
We're all brothers under the skin
(We are part of the world you're in)
We're all brothers under the skin
(Embodying every strength and sin)
We're all brothers under the skin
(Admitting we're real is how you begin)
We're all brothers under the skin,
We're all brothers under the skin.

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