One Child

from by jason chu



Inspired by the lives of Chinese friends around me. Two generations of a nation dealing with the reality of the rules and systems they find themselves in - and looking for hope in the midst of it all.


In a land of a billion what's a few hundred million?
Empty buildings, cement on the ceilings
Cut the lifeline and left a population reeling
Breaking off the future without thinking of the children
I heard a girl cry, saw a boy laugh
Saw the future turn white in a camera flash
As the camera snaps, it all blows past
No more light now, it's growin all black
See the future but can't make it change
So I say my prayers for those who aren't of age
As behind closed eyes I see the unmarked graves
And I, try to smile, but my expression's - changed
What will they do with the playgrounds
When the ones who used to play there don't come round
And there's no one to replace them
A generation crying out because we couldn't save them
Who will wash them, who will bathe them?
Commemorate them in their last days?
And in a mother's eyes, and a father's face
I glimpse a painting that was left untraced

What about your deepest feelings?
What about your broken heart?
What about someone who's there
When everything else falls apart?
A true brother, a true sister
Is there with a helping hand
When you cry, you'll find my shoulder
When you need me, I'll be there

One child, one child
One child might be a king
One child, one child
She could be everything

Top university with big dreams
The best school in the country was in Beijing
She was smart with a bright future - He had a smile like hers
and caring eyes, that looked right through her
Cold winter, but he made her warm
So when he asked her out she texted right back - sure
Her roommates all teased her
When his picture showed up on her phone screensaver
Same classes, the same major
Together all day from 6 AM until he made her
Go home to sleep, and in her dreams
She didn't count sheep, she saw him as her savior
Their first kiss in a corner of the campus
His lips were untrained but she taught him manners
At three months, they had a special date
Rented a hotel room with the money he had saved her
At four months, it turns out she's late
They both knew that the moment had sealed their fate
A pregnant woman can't run the rat race
It was done in three hours on a Saturday, ay


Married in the fall; pregnant by the spring
Their future was as bright as the diamond on her ring
By the summer it was clear that the winter would bring
Another life into their family, that's what they had dreamed
The new year brought a new life into the world
A new generation, a little baby girl
Finally, they felt so complete
Named her faith: their future, made concrete
Mom went back to work, dad taught his class
Grandma watched the child while grandpa took a nap
But in their hearts, they felt a hole
Next to little baby faith where another should go
But the law said one child is all they need
More than that is unpatriotic indeed
Another child means paying steep taxes and fees
And they were told: it's just one more mouth to feed
.So when her belly gets large again
The moment should be joyful but it's hard on them
In their own family, they don't have a voice
Because the law says the country doesn't have a choice


from Goodbye, Beijing., released April 21, 2012
Vocals: jason chu, Eva Li




jason chu Los Angeles, California

Speaking hope, healing, and justice in a broken world.


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