They may as well be girls when they're young
Smooth skin, loose curls, moon eyes when they're young
Want to sleep wedged up beside you when they're young
Braid your hair, paint your nails, confide when they're young
Bellies full of questions, hungry minds when they're young
Till they learn to hide, bide their time, bite their tongues

Send a boy into the world and hope he makes it home
Send a dark boy into the dark world and hope he makes it home
Angry men waiting at every turn
Angry men with guns waiting at every turn
Angry men with guns and badges waiting at every turn
They beat you
Beat you down
Beat you down till you turn

They make you say yes
Make you say yes
Yes, sir
Yes, sir
Yes, sir
Make you say yes
Till you burn
Till we burn