Song of a River

Lyrics by Carolyn McDade
From Sister Carry On

Home
Return to Resource List

There's a river that flows through the land of our peoples
It floods the plains of body and soul
It is deeper than deep and wider than wide
It waters the banks where the green trees hold

It carries the waters that tumble down mountains
falling from ledges, sighing o'er plains,
It hums through the roots of the cottonwood valley,
a witness to life through the memory of rain.

Chorus:
And a river will change, a river will change
a river will change its course to run true
A river will change, a river will change,
a river will change its course to run true.

It once flowed a continent shining with islands
Valleys and forest, desert and shoal,
Prairies spread from the spinerock of mountains
People and land living balanced and whole.

Then to its song came a deep lamentation -
a loss and terror by conquering hand
A river won't lie of the sorrow it carries
The fate of the peoples, the fate of the land.

It sings of slavery and freedom's uprising,
The killing of witches and silencing more
It tells of the power of rape, coin, and weapons,
owning what never had been owned before.

It sings the coming of desperate, indentured,
the clashing of cultures, the breaking of truce,
It sings of insolence daring survival,
of dignity greater than all the abuse.

It gathers the waters of many directions
and sings to the people restoring the whole
"Go deeper than deep; go wider than wide
and water the banks where the green trees hold.

for a people can change, a people can change,
a people can change their course to run true,
a nation can change, a nation can change,
a nation can change its course to run true."

We the people can change,we the people can change,
our course to run true
We the people can change, we the people can change,
our course to run true.

©1992 Surtsey Publishing
Return to Home
Return to Resource List