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Life in Community

Song of the Month for February 2020: Integrity

February 19, 2020 by

I think the search for integrity is something we can all relate to. I wrote this song to remember three times in my life when I learned a lesson in honesty and integrity, in seeing something through and doing it well… not because anyone's watching, but because it's right. 

 

Listen on SoundCloud.

Integrity

I never used to like Saturdays.
Staying home with mom to clean the house and organize
Seemed to take forever, always.
I’d cut corners so I could get outside.

My dad would always tell me as I was getting out the broom:
“Make sure you clean it thoroughly, when you clean your room.
I don’t want to get a phone call anytime before noon,
So listen to your mom and get the cleaning done soon.”

It’s what you do when nobody’s watching,
It’s what you say when nobody’s listening,
It’s who you are deep inside, it’s the girl you cannot hide,
It’s a word seared in my memory, integrity.

I never liked to study for tests:
Couldn’t memorize, I hated science and math,
I’d throw my books and draw on my desk,
Make up answers - if you saw, you would laugh.

Dad would always tell me as I was heading off to school:
“Do you class work honestly, abide by the rules.
A B that's worked for reflects better on you
Than getting straight A’s for work you didn’t do.”

It’s what you do when nobody’s watching,
It’s what you say when nobody’s listening,
It’s who you are deep inside, it’s the girl you cannot hide,
It’s a word seared in my memory, integrity.

I grew up and got my first job.
The interview went fine, my resumé looked good enough.
Convinced my boss I was someone I was not,
But when I started, the job was really tough.

I remembered what Dad told me on my first day:
“Do your work with dignity, choose wisely what you say.
The way you would be treated, treat your friends the same way.
Work hard as you can and you’ll turn out OK.”

It’s what you do when nobody’s watching,
It’s what you say when nobody’s listening,
It’s who you are deep inside, it’s the girl you cannot hide,
It’s a word seared in my memory, integrity.

 


Watch and listen to the songs Alissa composed while living in Harlem.

Listen to more Songs of the Month here.

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About the author

Alissa and her dad, Clem.

Alissa Robertshaw

Alissa Robertshaw lives at Fox Hill, a Bruderhof in upstate New York, where she writes songs and cooks up a storm.

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