Songs caught by Alexandra (Ahlay) Blakely

I offer these songs with a lot of love for our communities, for healing and for collective liberation defined by love and care. I hope you enjoy listening and teaching these songs. I believe that songs are beings and they live as long as we sing them and tell their stories, so please carry and share their stories as well.

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Song
Library 

Land Acknowledgement Song

oh land, upon which i stand

holding me (2x)

oh land, i know

the history here is painful

oh land, you know

your healing's woven with the peoples

For me, singing helps messages stay with me. I wanted to sing to the grief that this land holds, the history they hold - and in the case of Turtle Island and specifically Coast Salish Land, (where this song was caught) we have not collectively healed the deep wounds of genocide and colonialism. This song wishes to acknowledge all the beings of this land - people (aka: animals), plants and fungi - which many Indigenous cultures would say - all of those mentioned are each a people - - all my relations.

00:00 / 03:32

Now That I KNow

pt I

now that i know what i know, to what will i dedicate my life?

pt II

there is no unknowing, there is no unseeing

pt III

now that i know, now that i know 

Now that I Know was caught on Duwamish land (Seattle) inside a jail cell right before covid became a global pandemic. 28 of us had been arrested inside a Chase Bank (number one funder of fossil fuels in the world) where we held a grief ceremony with an addition 200+ people for all we had lost, all we were losing and all we were yet to lose due to climate change. On the altar in the center of our ritual was a sign that said something like, "knowing what is happening to the planet, to what do I devote my life?" by Dahr Jamail. As I sat in the jail cell for hours and hours, this song came through.
I believe this song speaks for itself as to how it connects to this theme. It is calling us into our greatest good, our greatest service. Will we be able to tell our children from our death beds that we did as much as we could to return the curse of extinction and exploitation?

00:00 / 02:12

eLDER

part I

move at the speed of trust and breathe

what kind of elder do you want to be?

 

part II

teach me to move, at the speed of trust, and breathe

Elder came through a night in agony at the foot of my altar.   

I asked my guides, “What is this pain for? What is the lesson here?” The answer was, “This is an offering on your behalf. You have come here to learn these lessons and carry forward their stories and teachings to pass down to the youth to come. You are in training to become an Elder. Do you accept this calling?” “Yes, yes I do.” I replied.

Since this song coming through it has been pointed out that "move at the speed of trust" came through the goddexx adrienne maree brown. my subconscious must have done some magic there. 

00:00 / 03:12

PeRsist

Persist with your dreams

Even an Oak Tree begins with a seed

Persist is for the slow-burn work of watering and sunning our dreams that by no means manifest overnight. As my dear friend Aaron Johnson says, "The revolution is a marathon, not a race."

00:00 / 01:08

The answer

Complex and layered is it all

Nuanced and shades of grey

So many stories being told

What does your body say?

What does your body say?

What does your body feel?

If you are not sure of the answer, listen inwards to hear. 

The Answer came in the early days of the pandemic. It is a song for these times of such uncertainty, racial and viral pandemics, civil uprisings, relational turmoils and major life (and systemic) transformations and transitions.

We are full on in the Great Unraveling. To me, I feel the Earth detoxing. As if the toxins that were once invisible to some are now becoming visible to all. I see pain and rage and hysteria.  I see people writing each other off permanently with no attempts to heal harms, I see people gaslighting and not taking accountability for their impacts... AND: 

I ALSO SEE mutual aid and joy and deep love. I see efforts to create new conditions based in community care, wellbeing and regenerative practices so that human and non-human life may thrive. I see people growing gardens, baking breads, making art and making love. I see people undoing learnings and inculcations. I see new creative ways to be together, to show one another affection (foot cuddling) - I see longing to be touched, hugged, held. I also see the power in embracing uncertainty, to finding the courage to say, "I DON'T KNOW," and letting that be enough, I see the power of non-closure and the pressing ask to BE HERE NOW. 

This song, my lovelings, came through for this very time. 

A time when we are trying to make sense of it all, when our brains really just want to get it, to comprehend it - to make a story of it that is coherent. Well, what if that is NOT a possibility right now? What if this time is teaching us how to listen to our bodies? Cause if we can understand our bodies, we can better understand the world. Like fractals, like micro-macro, like as above so below.

00:00 / 04:02

Life givers

pt I

Life givers swimming up stream

Life givers swimming up stream

Oh life givers swimming up stream

I see you thriving 

pt II

I can see the wall holding your blood back

turn to waterfalls : down it comes crashing

I can see the land : bring back the Peoples who always belonged here

pt III

salmon people, salmon people, salmon people

This song is for the salmon. The life givers. They are dying, going extinct, along with thousands of other species due to human silliness. The orca are going hungry, dying, due to the lack of food they rely on.

I have recently come to the knowledge that not only are we living on stolen land, but the dams built, twice removed tribes from fertile land by flooding them out so that white farmers could water their arid land.

Dams have robbed the first people, the salmon and now the orca.

When will the cycle break? Will it?

This is a prayer that birthed through me for these givers of life, a root of our ecosystem.

Here is to interdependency.

Here is to breaching the dams.

Here is to asking new questions, such as: What are the conditions that we need to create for regeneration? And does that world exist inside a capitalistic framework?

For the salmon, for the orca, for the people - all people… plants, minerals and animals alike.

Watch a pretty video I made for this song.

00:00 / 03:10

No

pt I

oh, it feels hard to say no

pt II

when you say no, what are you saying yes to?

pt III

your no, also puts you in your path, puts you in your path

Burn out anyone? Boundaries? Recovering people pleasers?

This one's for you. Get it. Get your "no" on as an act of self love. 

These songs

these songs are given to us by the land

if we are quiet enough

we can hear them

MENTORS

we must become the mentors that we are seeking

is also dreaming us, what it is that we are dreaming

This is a song from an community singing album that was recorded on April 11, 2021 on the sdukʷalbixʷ/Snoqualmie + sduhubš/Snohomish People’s land. This song came through post grief ritual where several of us were grieving lack of mentorship in our lives, lack of in-tact culture, a sense of cultural orphanage & longing for village and connection. And then a friend told me, we have to become the mentors we are seeking for the generations to come.

THE UNKNOWN

pt I

I lean into the unknown, far away from all i know

pt II

there's a bigger picture, that i may never see (3x)

i trust the mystery

pt III

teach me surrender, teach me flowing

teach me to become agile

in this not knowing

The Unknown came through on Mayan Land in the Caribbean in 2021 as I was there receiving my child to bring them back to Duwamish Land. Nothing felt clear to me. Not my job, not my soul path, not my family life, not my community, not my dreams, not the external world with the pandemic, climate crisis, domination and continual injustice. I felt like I was falling apart and then this song came through. The feeling of embodying the acceptance of not knowing and becoming more agile in it, created more space for me to breathe into my whole body.  

00:00 / 03:12

The Neuroplasticity Song

i am ready to change, every day i am changing

every moment is an opportunity to do it differently

(clap 7x)

if it challenges me, it changes me

patterns can be broken, i am here wide open wholeheartedly

(clap 6x) "breath!" 

This is the first community song I ever did catch and this is the recording when I first ever shared it. It is so special to me. This song came to me when I realized that everything is change and that I can change myself wholeheartedly. And hey... those claps are real important! 

00:00 / 01:47

Ripple

Part I
What if what we are doing right now
Ripples out beyond what the eye can see?

Part II
What is this step a part of that's bigger than me?
Bigger than me, bigger than me

Part III
What is happening through me?
Happening, happening, happening through me?

Ripple came through as I was pondering our collective efforts beyond our lifetimes. And to take a little less weight off NEEDING to see all the changes while we are alive. History is a long timeline and we are a nanosecond of it.  

00:00 / 03:37

NeT OF REMEMBRANCE

Everyone feels and carries different parts of the story

and together we weave, we weave the net

of remember, of remembrance

we are not made, we are not created to hold this

hold this all alone

Net of Remembrance is the type of song I want to sing between Fall Equinox and Winter Solstice - during the holy days. The days where we still want to access the joy of gratitude, darkness, gathering, community while also remembering the atrocities of our individual and collective histories that have us steeped today in white supremacist laws and patterns. This can be a song invoking atonement.

This is a song I want to sing in grief ceremony, when we are gathered to grieve in the village - when we are grieving the things we lost that we didn’t even know we had lost. Or when we are grieving what we wished we had and never got, like the village itself, like being torn from our homelands or forced out, or living every day watching our homeland lie in the grasp of the perpetrator. This can be a song for collective remembrance of what histories did not get passed along orally and most certainly didn’t get written down by white men into history books.

00:00 / 03:03

READY

I know we've been prepared for these times.

I know - in my bones.

I know we've been prepared for these times.

I know - in my bones.

In my blood, in my belly, I can feel we are READY.

In my blood, in my belly, I can feel we are READY.

We are READY, We are READY

I feel it in my bones and blood and belly.

Are we prepared for these times? Collective leadership, partnership, adaptability, community resilience, perceptibility? Are we ready?

I caught this song while wrestling with the possibility that covid-19 may or may not be the biggest global challenge I, we, my child faces in our lifetime(s). And I felt fear in allowing my mind to go there without bypassing it in any way.

Where there is FEAR, there is POWER.

As I leaned into the unknown, the darkness, the fear.

This song came through.

I have often heard other song catching friends of mine say that the songs that come through us are the medicine we are needing at that time.

This song came through me not cause I fully feel or believe that we are necessarily ready, but because there is a wiser part of me that does - the part of me that is not connected to my lizard brain, the part of me that might even not be a part of me - perhaps a part beyond me, beyond what my eyes can see, beyond what I can sense. As a healer teacher told me once, “you are a door Ahlay, NOT the doer.” So to whom or whoms, from which this medicine came forth:

Thank you and enormous blessings upon you.

May this song be medicine for you too if you will let it.

I am calling upon the skills we individually and collectively need in order to be ready for whatever it is that lies ahead of us, including surrender and acceptance.

00:00 / 03:45

Mirror

pt I

there is enough, there is enough for all of us

pt II

I am rooting for you, I want you to shine bright

you are the mirror of the light that I could have inside

pt III

what can I let go of a little, so I can celebrate your light?

This song is my antidote to competitiveness and jealousy. A friend taught me about the word compersion.  

Compersion is our wholehearted participation in the happiness of others. It is the sympathetic joy we feel for somebody else, even when their positive experience does not involve or benefit us directly. Thus, compersion can be thought of as the opposite of jealousy and possessiveness. This is one of those songs that I will sing and sing until I embody its medicine. Here's to undoing internalized scarcity. 

00:00 / 01:50

The work

oh when its breezy, it's easy to be calm

oh when its breezy, it's easy to be calm

but when the air gets thick, how will i face the storm?

Someone told me once: “Its not how we do when things are great but how we do when shit hits the fan.” Fair game. It reminds me of when we are in ritual and then go back into the real world... where what we do and HOW we do it really matters.

Stay

if from this world, you want to run

and you don't fit in

it's cause you're here to create a new one

don't go, don't go: stay (3x)

will you show me a different way?

I have watched so many people I love (including myself) struggle with mental health, mostly due to a lack of space outside the status quo. I caught this song after supporting someone really close to me struggle with suicide and self harm for not feeling seen and not knowing belonging. 

COURAGE

courage is not the absence of fear

it is the feeling of this fear

being afraid and standing up anyway

Courage is the first song I caught to bring to the streets for our non-violent direct actions. My partner Alec told me this on one of our first dates back in 2017 and it has been said by many a revolutionary in some words or another. This performance is with a song collective we have for social and climate justice in so-called Seattle called The People's Echo.