It's the story of life in African-American neighborhoods everywhere — where "children are hungry and they don't know how to read," Eden sings. "And my sister's been working hard, she wants to achieve. And my brother's been running, running from the police."
Eden was inspired to write "The Protest Song" after suffering a two-day depression following the Michael Brown shooting. But the lyrics apply to the entire spate of police killings of black people. "The first little guitar riff is dark — like what you might hear on a movie soundtrack when you know something bad is going to happen," she says. "But I also wanted it to be inspiring and hopeful."
Toward the end of the song, Eden alludes to Malcolm X: "By any means possible," she sings, but then, as if she's directly addressing the police, "Would you take my hand? But don't take my life."
Eden says songs usually come to her in snippets: "A phrase will get stuck in my head and it'll just go around and around, over and over, and eventually I'll turn it into something. But then I have to force myself to sit down with my guitar."
Not all of Eden's songs are as overtly political as "The Protest Song," she says. "But I feel like I low-key write protest music all the time." She's written a poem about the Keith Scott shooting, but hasn't yet put it to music, and she says she doesn't feel qualified to write about HB2.
"I'm not trans," Eden says. "To me, that would be like a white person saying, 'I'm gonna write a song about black people.' I wouldn't feel comfortable writing about HB2. I think it's unfair and I think it sucks, but I think it would be better for a trans artist to take on."
Eden also doesn't like feeling pressured to write about any specific topic. "If I feel under pressure, I end up just getting angry and I'll write a whole bunch of stuff that has nothing to do with whatever the topic is." She pauses. "But a lot of my music is about black people dying. A lot of my unfinished music is about that, and it's very angry and it's very punk. So one day, yeah, I'll probably have an EP full of really angry music. I already have it in my head."