Alicia Keys has released a powerful protest song, “Perfect Way To Die”, written from the perspective of a mother whose child was gunned down in the street.

As Keys, herself a mother of two, explained in a statement, “Of course there is no perfect way to die. This phrase doesn’t even make sense but that’s what makes the title so powerful and heartbreaking because so many have died unjustly. It’s written from the point of view of the mother whose child has been murdered because of the system of racism that looks at Black life as unworthy. We all know none of these innocent lives should have been taken due to the culture of police violence.”

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The simple, piano-and-vocals track touches on the maddening futility of past instances of public outcry over police brutality with lyrics like, “They came marching in the city that day, they say / Carryin’ signs in the street / Cryin’ eyes in the streets / But they heard nothing from the city that day, they say / Just another one gone / And the city moved on.”

The song hits its emotional climax on the chorus as Alicia sings, “Baby, don’t you close your eyes / ‘Cause this could be our final time / And you know I’m horrible at saying goodbye / But I’ll think of all you coulda done / At least you’ll stay forever young / I guess you picked the perfect way to die.”

Listen to “Perfect Way To Die” by Alicia Keys below or stream it on the platform of your choice here.

Alicia Keys – “Perfect Way To Die”

“Perfect Way to Die” will be included on her upcoming seventh studio album, Alicia, which will arrive this fall. Earlier this week, NPR also shared Alicia Keys’ Tiny Desk Concert, filmed at the NPR offices in February before COVID-19 reared its head. The set included renditions of “Show Me Love”, “Underdog”, and “Fallin'” in addition to the debut of a new song off the forthcoming album, “Gramercy Park”. Watch the Alicia Keys Tiny Desk Concert below:

Alicia Keys – Tiny Desk Contest