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lyrics

A MIGHTY FORTRESS IS OUR GOD
A BULWARK NEVER CEASING

my life was built upon the bedrock of knowledge.
from my very first steps, I was on the path to college.
baptized in the Catholic church, we moved a year after my birth
to Mansfield, Saxony, tryna grow our net worth.
Papa had a copper mine, Mama kept the kids in line.
everyone was fed (which was not a given at this time).
even more incredible, they put me in a Latin school---
five years old, luggin’ books like a little mule.

I did my best, and the rest was ancient history
(well, Middle Ages, if you’re tryna speak specifically).
that fact is an important one, cuz education wasn’t fun.
ain’t nobody wanna get smacked by a monk
at 14, I went to boarding school at a monastery.
misuse of power had become my constant adversary.
I kept my grades up, I kept my head down,
I played the lute a lot and loved to hear the soothing sounds.

A MIGHTY FORTRESS IS OUR GOD...

another year, another city, another school.
Papa kept the money coming, I kept running into rules
do this, not that, read this, write that,
sit down, stand up, it don’t matter if you like that.
regurgitate rhetoric, never carrot, always stick.
and all this time, I’m learning what makes people tick---
the commonfolk, all gettin’ tired’a bein’ stepped on,
they paid their dues and now they’re lookin’ for a refund.

but at the top, they never stop to drop a copper coin.
they own the land, the upper hand, they keep the man employed.
so the poor stay poor and the rich get more
and the rich kids get smarter while the poor ones work harder.
and there I stood, on that bedrock of education,
on the shoulders of giants and the backs of exploitation.
I swear I’m grateful for the life my father gave me,
but I couldn’t wait to fly the coop for university.

A MIGHTY FORTRESS IS OUR GOD...

credits

from HERE I STAND: a Lutheran mixtape, released April 29, 2017
Written, performed, and produced by Andy Pokel, with:
Al McCoy, vocals

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Andy Pokel Minneapolis, Minnesota

Andy Pokel is a teacher, musician, doodler, and cat dad who lives in Minneapolis with his wife, Elise.

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