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Song Lyrics

Page history last edited by Sarah Underhill 10 months, 3 weeks ago

 SONG LYRICS

 

All Songs copyright 2004 by Sarah Underhill

 

Song of the Hedge School

 

Where can we go?

The parson has broken the fiddle

He says it's a tool of the devil

Where can we go to play?

 

We come here

Where the greenwood casts its shadow

Outlaws and witches are we

In the hedge along the roadside

Where the timid folk fear to wander at night

Hidden in the briars we can be free

We come here

And we'll cup the flame of our music

And keep it alive

 

Where can we go

To learn how to write and to cipher?

Our teacher is risking the gallows

By meeting us here to read

 

We come here

Where the greenwood casts its shadows

Outlaws and witches and runaway bondsmen are we

In the hedge beside the roadside

Where the timid folk fear to wander at night

Hidden in the briars we can be free

We come here

And we'll cup the flame of our learning

And keep it alive

 

Where can we go

To hear spoken our own heart's language

Shout aloud words like Freedom and Justice

Where can we go to sing?

 

We come here

Where the greenwood casts its shadows

Outlaws and witches and runaway bondsmen

And all the free People are we

In the hedge along the roadside

Where the timid folk fear to wander at night

Hidden in the briars we can be free

We come here

And we'll cup the flame of our music and

We come here

And we'll  cup the flame of our learning and

We come here 

And we'll cup the flame of our dreaming

And keep it alive

 

BERRIES IN THE HEDGE

 

As I walked out the Foordmore road, all at the foot of the mountain, oh,

There I spied the berries in the hedge, all growing blue and scarlet, oh.

 

Refrain:

How they grow, the berries in the hedge, blue and scarlet and golden, oh.

Comes the crow, the linnet from the ledge, all for the plucking of the berries, oh.

Blue the sky, and green below, fair the air and breezy, oh.

Sweet the fruit, sweet music from the throats of the birds at the plucking of the berries, oh.

 

Twas then I turned my face to my home, back to my shady bower, oh.

Light my heart, and merry as a bird's, that's tasted the honey of the berries, oh.

 

Light my heart and free of care, merry as a bird on the mountain, oh,

Free as a bird in the mountain air, then home to my cottage in the valley, oh.

 

 

 

 

 

GRANDFATHER'S TREES

 

Down in  a green and flowering valley, beside the river from the Lake of Tears

Grandfather planted four young yew trees, to watch his farmhouse and his children dear

With peace and gentleness and justice, the wandering

freed slave he took in.

This village by the bounteous river became a haven for his friends and kin.

And as they laid him on the hillside in  a humble unmarked Quaker's grave,

A silent prayer went up to heaven: May you all live in peace and unafraid

May you all live in peace and unafraid

And long life to the yew trees- may they flourish for a thousand years.

 

Time as the river flowing onward erased all traces of the family home.

The trees kept watch upon the hillside, their roots now mingled with Grandfather's bones.

Upriver now a glowing furnace, to split the atom for the nation's work,

A mighty power plant was raised there, beside the river where it quenched its thirst.

And still he asks me to remember. These words are whispered on the river breeze:

"Take care, my children keep this valley well," murmur the branches of Grandfather's trees

Murmur the branches of Grandfather's trees-

Oh, long life to the yew trees- may they flourish for a thousand years.

 

Still standing bearing silent witness, as the gentle Quakers had of old,

The trees now grown to living spires, reaching to heaven where the clouds unfold.

And on a clear September morning, two silver missiles full of martyred souls

Came hurtling southward o'er the yew trees, in deadly desperation found their goal.

And as we gathered by the river, smoke from the burning towers dimmed the skies.

Our tears and prayers went up to heaven: let us not be the evil we despise

Let us not be the evil we despise

And the wind in the yew trees held the sorrows of a thousand years.

 

The trees do ask my heart this question, the bones beneath their branches know no rest:

What if those planes had struck the power plant, there plunging down to lay the land to waste?

If that atomic furnace melted,  a cloud of sorrow then would haunt the land.

My yew trees would stand dead and voiceless, keeping blind watch above the barren sand.

These buried bones and roots below me cry out a warning so that all may hear:

With the free will that God does grant us, shut down these mad machines of doom and fear

Shut down these mad machines of doom and fear

And long life to the yew trees, may they flourish for a thousand years.

Yes, long life to the yew trees, may they flourish for a thousand years

 

HOLE IN THE GROUND [WATER PRAYER]

 

I get my water from a hole in the ground. I dip in my bucket with a musical sound,

Scooping up some dead leaves, some mud swirling around.

I get my water from a hole in the ground.

 

With the tree's thirsty roots the spring water I share. It tastes sweet as the mint or the cold mountain air.

Remember whether you pipe it for miles to your sink, or buy it in plastic bottles for a "purified" drink,

All of our water, wherever it's found, somewhere it came from a hole in the ground.

 

And whatever we spill on this humble clay finds its way to our water as it trickles away,

From the city tap or supermarket shelf, or if you haul it from that hole in the ground yourself.

 

We get our water from a hole in the ground, filled up by the rain with its musical sound.

All of us living, the whole world around, we all get our water from a hole in the ground.

 

DARK'S LULLABY

 

Soft arms, holding you safely

Tales told, whispering peacefully

No fears of shadows or dangers

Be not afraid of the darkness, child

 

Refrain:

Hush, hush, night wind caressing

Soft kiss of blackness a blessing.

Sleep, dream, sorrows forgetting.

Be not afraid of the darkness, child.

 

The while knight, on the white charger

Banishes evil, calling it darkness.

Ah, but the truth is never that simple

There's nothing to fear in the darkness, child.

 

Sweet smells, night flowers blooming

Soft sounds, small creatures moving

Love the night and the secrets it's telling

Be not afraid of the darkness, child

 

Look up: velvet clouds sailing

Black night, friend of the mystery

Ride the night wind, safe to the morning

There's nothing to fear in the darkness, child

 

FROM THE PRISON 

 

In my upstate town on an old back road there stands a prison

And my kids at a real young age they asked of me

What is that building, Mama? Why that's a jail son

And the men inside done a crime so they can't go free

 

From the prison you can see the small town airport

Through barred windows watch the light planes come and go

Why are the prisoners in the  yard most all black men, Mama?

I'll tell you son, it's a story you should know

 

I drive each day past the high walls like a fortress

Barbed wire and armed guards in towers an everyday sight

Some days I drive on by and I don't even see it

Tell me Mama, why are most the guards all white?

 

This story is old, this story is not over

Divide and conquer, those of a different race

The people in the jail, they are poor, they have no money

The guards are paid to keep them in their place

 

Corrections officer brags how he likes to rough up the inmates

He's the father of your school friend with good wages and a benefit plan

You wouldn't believe what we have to do for them people he tells me

In the local plant they try to recruit for the Ku Klux Klan

 

I see the buses bring the wives to visit their husbands

Holding children by the hand waiting to enter the big steel gate

The prisoners are poor and the guards are well paid honey

And the one that writes the paychecks trying to keep it that way

 

There was a legend 'bout a train they called the Midnight Special

If it shone its light through your prison bars you would go free

But there's no train running by this upstate jail now

Just the lights on the airplanes rising above the trees

 

From the prison you can see the small town airport

And through barred windows watch the light planes come and go

Why do the prisoners in the break yard have no money, Mama?

I'll tell you son, it's a story you should know

I'll tell you son, and then you'll know

 

PRO-CHOICE SONG

 

They say that life is a struggle

I can tell you that aint no lie

Just to put food on the table

Enough to make a grown woman cry

Pollution, crime and poverty

Cost of living on the rise

Drugs and desperation

Can you hear the children cry

I heard this question

From the mouth of a young girl

Saying how can I bring a baby

Into this cruel old world?

 

But if we work it out

And if we come up with a plan

To care for the needs of every woman, child and man

If we clean up this planet

Let me tell you the good news

When my world is on the right track

Why then I may choose

 

If I choose to have a child

If this child grows to be a young man

Government sends him off to war

To be killed in a foreign land

If I choose to have a child

Then they can take my child from me

They've been killing women's children

Since the dawn of history

So how can someone stand there

Tell me he's got a right

To say that my choice is wrong

And his choice is right

 

So tell me who should have the power

Whose is the choice to make

Is it the mother of a baby

Or the master of a slave?

And when all things are equal

When this world is a perfect place

There will be no need for abortion

And then we can rest our case.

I saud when all things are equal

When each child has a happy home

But I tell you brothers and sisters

We got a long way to go.

 

 

DONALD TRUMP'S LAMENT

 

I'm gonna tell you a story from New York town

It's very sad to relate

Bout how the poor little rich boy, Donald Trump,

Got stood up by the head of state.

Trump was floating one afternoon

In the swimming pool in his living room

And as he checked his watch for the hundredth time,

He began  to cry

 

Oh, Gorbachov's in town but he didn't stop by,

He didn't say hi, he didn't say why

I'm such a wonderful guy-

How come he wont see me?

 

There was an out of work actor walking the streets

Who was a Gorbachov lookalike

He borrowed a limo and a big fur hat

When he heard of Trump's terrible plight

At the Trump Tower gates a crowd gathered round

Trump heard ther noise and came running down

But when he went to shake the actor's hand

Folks began to smile

 

Yes, Gorbachov's in town but he's just passing through,

Got too much to do, it's strange but it's true

You may own this town but

He aint got time for you

 

Because he's bringing the word to the old UN

He's got a Christmas present for the boys

He's going to send them home, so tell the Pentagon

To cut back on their orders for new war toys

Instead of drinking champagne with Donald Trump

He sent the defense industry into a slump

Now Don he made you look like a jerk

And some of your friends may be out of work

 

Yes, Gorbachov's in town and he's doing just great

He's looking for peace

Not for real estate

So try and understand Don

We know it's hard for you....

[repeat first refrain]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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