If It Were Up To Me

Cheryl Wheeler
Language: English

List of versions

Related Songs

Got Guns?
(Pete Kronowitt)
Don't Forget The Guns
(Cheryl Wheeler)

Lyrics and music by Cheryl Wheeler
Testo e musica di Cheryl Wheeler
Album: "Sylvia Hotel"

Cheryl Wheeler.
Cheryl Wheeler.

sylviahotelThis song was written after the Jonesboro schoolyard shooting incident. She actually didn't realize she was writing it at the time. She was talking to herself while she was driving, and suddently realized that it was a song.

I find this song very powerful. Experts can (and probably will) debate about the cause of the dramatic increase in violence among children. While these debates are going on, more children are dying. Cheryl states the obvious: if we can keep guns away from children, they can't use them to kill others.

The song lists all the excuses that people put forth for the increase in violence among children. The song ends with her saying: "But if it were up to me, I'd take away the guns."

Some have interpreted that to mean that Cheryl is in favor of getting rid of all guns. I think it is more accurate to say that the song promotes keeping guns away from unsupervised children. My interpretation of the song is that we can debate forever over the "cause" of increased violence, but children will keep getting killed until we do something to make it harder for children to get easy access to firearms.

Cheryl explained once that the song lists possible reasons why the kids were angry. Regardless of the reason for the anger, the reason the shootings happened was because the kids were able to get their hands on guns. Our society has decided that adults should be allowed access to firearms. It then follows that adults should make sure that those firearms don't fall into the hands of kids.

Cheryl mentioned hearing a news report that the 11 year old boy was in his jail cell crying for his mother. It took her breath away, and she was hoping that the kids mother didn't hear that report. Can any of us imagine what it must be like for a parent to find out that their child has done something terrible?

Rounder saw this song as a way to promote the album Sylvia Hotel. This song was released as the first single from the album. Every time it was played on a AAA station, Rounder donated $5 to the Center for the Prevention of Handgun Violence. This is an organization allied with Handgun Control (ala the "Brady Bill".)

After the Columbine School shootings in Littleton, Colorado, this song was adopted as a sort of anthem. The local radio station played it every half hour. When the NRA decided to still hold their convention nearby, Cheryl was asked to perform the song during a protest meeting.

The interest in this song was significant, not just in Colorado, but around the country. Rounder reinstated its offer to donate $5 every time the song was played on a AAA radio station. They also, with permission from Cheryl, "gave away" the song. It could be downloaded in its entirety from several web sites.

Garth Brooks created a medley of this song and "Let's Get Together" to create a song called "Right Now" for his album Chris Gaines - Greatest Hits.

from This page
Maybe it's the movies, maybe it's the books
Maybe it's the bullets, maybe it's the real crooks
Maybe it's the drugs, maybe it's the parents
Maybe it's the colors everybody's wearin
Maybe it's the President, maybe it's the last one
Maybe it's the one before that, what he done
Maybe it's the high schools, maybe it's the teachers
Maybe it's the tattooed children in the bleachers
Maybe it's the Bible, maybe it's the lack
Maybe it's the music, maybe it's the crack
Maybe it's the hairdos, maybe it's the TV
Maybe it's the cigarettes, maybe it's the family
Maybe it's the fast food, maybe it's the news
Maybe it's divorce, maybe it's abuse
Maybe it's the lawyers, maybe it's the prisons
Maybe it's the Senators, maybe it's the system
Maybe it's the fathers, maybe it's the sons
Maybe it's the sisters, maybe it's the moms
Maybe it's the radio, maybe it's road rage
Maybe El Niño, or UV rays
Maybe it's the army, maybe it's the liquor
Maybe it's the papers, maybe the militia
Maybe it's the athletes, maybe it's the ads
Maybe it's the sports fans, maybe it's a fad
Maybe it's the magazines, maybe it's the internet
Maybe it's the lottery, maybe it's the immigrants
Maybe it's taxes, big business
Maybe it's the KKK and the skinheads
Maybe it's the communists, maybe it's the Catholics
Maybe it's the hippies, maybe it's the addicts
Maybe it's the art, maybe it's the sex
Maybe it's the homeless, maybe it's the banks
Maybe it's the clearcut, maybe it's the ozone
Maybe it's the chemicals, maybe it's the car phones
Maybe it's the fertilizer, maybe it's the nose rings
Maybe it's the end, but I know one thing.
If it were up to me, I'd take away the guns.

Contributed by Riccardo Venturi - 2007/4/18 - 23:14

Language: Italian

Versione italiana di Riccardo Venturi
18 aprile 2007

Forse sono i film, forse sono i libri,
Forse sono le pallottole, forse i veri criminali
Forse è la droga, forse sono i genitori
Forse sono i colori di cui tutti vanno vestiti
Forse è il Presidente, forse è l'ultima ruota del carro
Forse è quello che è venuto prima, cosa ha fatto
Forse sono i licei, forse sono gli insegnanti
Forse sono i bambini tatuati nelle ceste del bucato
Forse è la Bibbia, forse è la carenza di valori
Forse è la musica, forse è il crack
Forse sono le pettinature, forse è la tivvù
Forse sono le sigarette, forse è la famiglia
Forse sono i fast food, forse sono i telegiornali
Forse è il divorzio, forse gli abusi sessuali
Forse sono gli avvocati, forse sono le prigioni
Forse sono i Senatori, forse è il sistema
Forse sono le sorelle, forse sono le mamme
Forse è la radio, forse è la rabbia della strada
Forse è El Niño, forse i raggi ultravioletti
Forse è l'esercito, forse è l'alcool
Forse sono i giornali, forse è la Milizia del Michigan
Forse sono gli atleti, forse è la pubblicità
Forse sono i tifosi, forse è una moda
Forse sono le riviste, forse è internet
Forse è la lotteria, forse sono gli immigrati
Forse sono le tasse, forse è l'alta finanza
Forse è il Ku Klux Klan, forse sono i cattolici
Forse sono gli hippies, forse sono i drogati
Forse è l'arte, forse è il sesso
Forse sono gli homeless, forse sono le banche
Forse è la deforestazione, forse è l'ozono
Forse sono i prodotti chimici, forse i telefonini
Forse sono i pesticidi, forse gli anelli al naso
Forse è la fine, però so una cosa:
Se fosse per me, leverei di mezzo le armi.

2007/4/18 - 23:56

Main Page

Please report any error in lyrics or commentaries to

Note for non-Italian users: Sorry, though the interface of this website is translated into English, most commentaries and biographies are in Italian and/or in other languages like French, German, Spanish, Russian etc.

hosted by