dain saint art and activism for an abundant society

city don't sing (video)

2020 has been a year. between the pandemic, the blow to the arts, and the continued fight for freedom, we've been put through the ringer—both in philly, and the rest of the country. i hope this song brings you some catharsis as we say goodbye to this year and move into the next one.

song available on:

written and performed by dain saint
video produced, edited, colored, and post-produced by adriano martino

performance shot on an iphone by adriano martino following covid-19 safety protocols

special thanks to franky bradley's for providing a safe venue for the performance

all other clips are licensed through various platforms

special thanks for additional courtesy b-roll footage provided by:

special thanks to kelly lacy for providing the blm mural footage.

the princess and the pea

part of the book of words

this country has convinced you
that discomfort is the same as suffering

some march to end brutality while
some march to cling to comfort
and you see no earthly difference

when some of us would die
so our children could be merely
uncomfortable

since you seem to be having a hard time calling it a coup

part of freedom is non-negotiable

maybe you can charge him with
disorderly conduct
resisting the truth
and assault and battery
on the populace
(with injuries)

off menu

don't confuse
what you want
with
what's for sale

united states of philadelphia

part of freedom is non-negotiable

poorest big city in america
but we rich in spirit
(and also capital)

see there’s change in these
couch cushions
if you just take time to dig

we’re just poor in the way
that sidewalk acorns
can’t grow leaves

“poor” the way that movie girl
is “ugly” before her makeover
(but we stan a bitch in glasses)

you might fuck around and
catch these hands

you might slip and fall and
find these hands catch you

cause brotherly love means we will
cuss you the fuck out
if you fuckin up
cause we love you

and brotherly love means when
these streets take one of ours
we take to these streets
cause we love you

our mascots are neon chaos
our main exports are “wish a nigga would”
our national flower is a
little black girl in beads
who saw the police think
they were above these hands and raised her voice
to sing our national anthem:

“aight, bet”

welcome to
phila-
fuck-around
and-find-out-
adelphia

(try the pretzels)

firelight

part of freedom is non-negotiable

i am looking at the mountain
and wondering the grade
the trek that lies ahead of us
the waters we will wade

though beasts within the forest dark
still gnash their teeth with glee
i’ve got my trusty firelight
and you to walk with me

the road is long and treacherous
and so far we have marched
past smoke and plague and turbulence
and men with evil hearts

and though the path ahead of us
we scarcely can foresee
i’ve got my trusty firelight
and you to walk with me

so take we now, a moment
while uncertainty abounds
we’ll need to keep on fighting
but for now we can sit down

for when the slope ahead of us
reveals its true degree
i’ve got my trusty firelight
and you to walk with me

the internal compass

the first two sensations
were pleasure and pain
the first two emotions
were love and fear
the first two words
were yes and no

observe,
consider,
and act

a prayer while stretching

does it hurt

or is it just loud?

weather or not

lightning, thunder
rain, and sky
calamity abounds
but with release
comes inner peace
and life
from watered ground

the beat within

we’ve spent so long
fighting
over who gets to
lead us
we never stopped
to ask
why our heart
isn't enough