Twenty Paces

Twenty-LacingThis song was inspired by Dresden’s beautiful reconstructed church, the Frauenkirche. We decided to visit the historic Baroque monument, which stands as a symbol of peace and hope for the entire world. Both the Germans and the Poles contributed funds, as well as labor, to rebuild the bombed remains. Seeing the patchwork reconstruction was emotional for us as we were in the midst of mending damage from some of our own “wars” at the time.

We imagined two people, centuries ago dueling—pacing out their distance, before turning to shoot. We inflict harm and suffer all the more. The ability to heal is held within our ability to forgive. Our visit to Germany served as a reminder and symbol of reconciliation.


Twenty paces
Standing back against back
Empty faces
Pivot steady for attack

Twenty paces
Slowly step by step

Dueling thoughts and words
Bring us to this fight
We wall ourselves inside ourselves
Protecting what is “right”
What is right

Who can remember what it is we’re fighting for
Can’t your eyes mirror me
The me I long to be
Reflecting understanding

Who will win the war
To reconcile regret
To recognize a piece of peace
So we will never forget
Never forget

Twenty paces
Staring face into face
Cautious gestures
Each step closing empty space

Twenty paces
Hoping for embrace

We must decide to trust
In spite of how we feel
We can’t hold out for what is just
Or we may never heal
We may never heal
Never heal
We may never heal

Never heal


From Swinging Statues, track released 01 January 2004
Cheryl Martlage – Lyrics and vocals
Emerson Martlage – Music, guitar and vocals
Tom Tomasello – Producer/Arranger
Jim Bruno – Vocal producer
Mr Toad’s San Francisco – Mastering
Inspiration – The Frauenkirche, Dresden Germany