Better World was produced by Carter Green and Aaron Traffas. It was recorded, mixed and mastered at Greenjeans Studios in Wellington, Kansas. All songs were written by Aaron Traffas (BMI) in 2017 and 2018. Chris Goering (BMI) helped write "Anchor or the Sail."
Aaron Traffas sang all songs and played guitar on all songs except "Boy in My Head." Carter Green sang harmonies and played all other instruments. Rick Moose played the trumpet for Boy in My Head. Nolan Traffas and Erica Edwards sang backing vocals on "Anchor or the Sail." Cristina Tanase created the artwork.
Scatter and Succumb
They said that we should be silent. They said that it was their turn. They said that only they could fix the mess we made. Then we watched the world burn. They started to dismantle. They were vicious. They were reckless. With rescinded liberties and institutions under siege, we became feckless. They closed their eyes as the mad king built his throne. We covered our hearts as they slowly turned to stone. They abandoned all pretenses as our consciences grew numb. When it'd come time to [change] [fix] [save] the world we'd scatter and succumb. We tried to be defiant, to nevertheless persist, but their tenor of debate and contempt for the fourth estate was too much to resist. If only we were stronger or their ideas weren't discordant. They built walls and hoard their gold. Their stomachs full, our children cold, we found their avarice abhorrent. Oh, they normalized the fear that kept us out of the streets. Oh, now it's too late as their conspiracy's complete. Oh, we'd compromise and not recognize who we'd become. Oh, we've grown too dumb to adapt and overcome. When the mountaintops are islands and the damage forever done, we had our chance to save the world but we'd scatter and succumb.
Boy in My Head
The chords I can play are too simple for the songs acting out in my head where a ten-year-old's trapped turning knobs and pulling levers, trying to not have to go to bed. And I believe he can figure it out; he'll probably even make it rhyme because if my life to this point's any indication all he needs is a little more time. The boy in my head wants a better world devoid of all the selfishness and greed — the promise of a future built on one another with a little less hate and fewer hungry mouths to feed. And it'll be hard, but we can get there if we quit choosing sides and work together instead. All we need is [inspiration] [civility] [creativity] and the persistence of the boy in my head. Some ideas that he has are just silly, while some leave us both terrified. But his iterations on his machinations never seem to leave him satisfied. I need some hope for to these weary eyes to offset all the suffering I see, but I know if I leave the boy at the helm he'll bring out the best side of me. And our better angels caution tolerance of denialists and capitalists and salesmen, but those demons can't take away the twinkle in his eye or the smile on my face when I see what next he will try.
Stronger Shade of Blue
I need a stronger shade of blue. This one's served me well before, but now washed-out, weak and sickly, it doesn't suit me anymore. I need a stronger shade of blue — one reminiscent of our past — of the legacy and sacrifice that's now tarnished and collapsed. There are monsters at the door and yet we bicker; their selfish, shameless, savage roar too much to bear. As hope's dim and dwindling light begins to flicker we'll find a champion, despite all the despair, and marshal all our troops to a stronger shade of blue. I need a stronger shade of blue — one as dark as the world outside, fiercely muted in the shade and yet brilliant in the fight. I need a stronger shade of blue — pure like a conscience no longer numb, ablaze with independence and not beholden to anyone. Calloused against ourselves, we weren't born like this — colored by our profits and dwelling on our wretchedness. We'll excise the corruption and flip the script in a vivid coup. We'll bind our somber discourse to a stronger shade of blue. I need a stronger shade of blue — one as bold and big as our plans — dwarfing all the petty hacks with aspirational demands. I need a stronger shade of blue — one as bright as our future feels when it's tailored for our children with vouchsafed august ideals.
Anchor or the Sail
Will you vote for the anchor or the sail? Must we stand our ground or can we let the winds prevail? What might building a better world for our children entail? Will you vote for the anchor or the sail? We mustn't go hungry because of where we live while pullings extra shifts, still scared for our kids. We work harder for less while the corporations profit. We privatize their gains and socialize their losses. Is it kindness or profit when their motives unveil? Freedom means nothing if we can't all be free — if we mortgage lovingkindness or block grant dignity. We can't circumscribe the types of love allowed if we ever want to live with our heads unbowed. Do we dare make policy and not decency avail? Our legacy must be to win hearts and not wars and suffering and cruelty no longer ignore. If we teach our kids nuance and kindness to strangers we'll leave them a future no longer endangered. Can we open our hearts and our bigotries curtail? Compassion can move mountains if we don't get in its way with conspiracies and distrust, divisiveness and hate. It's not just tilting at windmills — we can still recover. We can be great again if we love one another.