I Must Speak | spoken word

by Anita Coats

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There are times in a person’s life
When they must speak
This is one of those times for me
I must speak
Not because I have
Something profound to say
Not because I think I can change you
Or even want to
Not because I need you to see it my way

I must speak for me
to feel expressed
never again repressed

I must speak to hear my voice rise up
to know that I am valuable
just like you
that my life matters
just like you

I must speak because I am a woman
living in this land
I must exercise my right to shine this light
I must speak to illuminate this path
of expression
so that girls growing up
know the sound of their voices
in confrontation or song
know that saying no because
they don’t want to, is never wrong

I must speak to hold a space, for those
who until now have been too afraid
to lift up their voice and claim themselves
claim the power that they possess inside
this place that never rests or dies

I must speak because I can
because I’m not afraid to stand

I must speak because I have a choice
to listen close, not deny my voice
I must speak because
my spirit speaks through me

I must speak today
for every day that past me by
fearful in silence that I might die
if you didn’t like me because
of something I said
It’s been a process of learning how to
speak my truth and just say
what’s going on in my head

So I started speaking up and
what do you know, I’m not dead yet
no, I’m alive. My skin, my bone,
my heart, my mind. I’m alive

This love I have can’t be denied
This life I live is unfolding before me
I never expected this type of journey

I never expected I’d be on this stage
When shyness used to follow me through every day

There is a part that is fearless
and there’s a part that’s still afraid
But I have no option but to be on this stage

I am an artist, a poet, a song
If it comes from inside me
I can do no wrong
The expression of self
is never ending and pure
If writing it on paper is medicine
Then saying it out loud is the cure

So I speak for my healing
So the world it can hear
Life is not lived, if you’re living in fear

So I face every demon,
every doubt that’s inside
A life of expression
Is a life that’s inspired

I am inspired by each part that’s revealed
And I get this sense
that as I say this out loud
I’m already healed

So. Speak up. Yes, you.
I know I can’t be the only one in the room
Who’s got something to say
A life story to tell
You could save someone
by sharing the part of your life
that felt like a living hell

You could transform worry into hope
By sharing how you cope
With the pain and the fear
The hard times and the tears
and by all means share the joy
The good times
Synchronicities that greet you along the way

I don’t know where I’ll be in a year or two
but I do know I have today
Or rather, I have right now
So I am going to go ahead and
say what I have to say
and if you feel inspired
Well then, I encourage you
By all means
Please do the same


released February 14, 2013
Written and Performed by Anita Coats


all rights reserved



Anita Coats Los Angeles, California

Anita. Singer. Songwriter. Warm tones and circular patterns paint the backdrop for songs that are heartfelt and evocative. Southern California native, Anita Coats uses the ups and downs of life as her songwriting inspiration, making her music undeniably relatable. She has 3 EP's and 2 live albums on the horizon. ... more

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