mneme: (harp2)
[personal profile] mneme
Kathy Mar's wonderful Drink Up the River has long been a mainstay of my filking -- and I've had occasion to bring it back to the forefront given our current troubles. But as much as I love the song, it was pretty clearly written in '88, and while the nativism of this decades echoes that of three decades ago, it's hardly identical; more, while there's plenty of anti-science talk, the universal adoption of the web has clearly changed its focus and tenor.

So I've written an updated version entirely keeping Kathy's first and last verses identical, while switching out the middle verses for ones a bit more suited to our times (which, not that surprisingly, are -still- based around immigration and science/technology). (although it's trivial to add her Technology verse back in if one wants an extra verse, as the two are basically non-overlapping). Feel free to share and use with love.

Drink Up the River (2017 JK remix)
Copyright 2017 Joshua Kronengold (with a lot of incorporated and/or adapted suggestions from Lee Gold), to the tune of and heavily reusing the 1988
Drink up the River by Kathy Mar


I was sitting by a river, when a thought occurred to me:
There are a hundred thousand rivers that we never even see,
They are the boundaries of all we know--of truth and right and wrong,
And I have written some examples for you here within my song.

Some are bridged and some are forded--some are swollen from the rain,
Some are the ultimate result of all our joys and all our pain,
But when the rivers in your life are full, and starting to wash down,
You've gotta drink up the river,
Before you drown.

[Chorus]
You gotta drink up the river x 3
Before you drown
You gotta drink up the river x 3
Before you drown

Throughout our nation's history, in times of peace and war,
An overwhelming wave of refugees have washed up on our shore,
They fled from death and persecution, and from poverty and pain,
And they made our country greater, as they strove to rise again.

But immigrants are turned away, "they're terrorists" we cry,
Or we say they'll take our jobs away, so passage we deny,
Our nation's based on courage, should we let the helpless down?
No--We must drink up that river, before we drown,

[chorus]

Since we learned to kindle fire, we have sought to understand,
How life began, how lightning works, the sea, the sky, the land,
And our science brings us wonders, as we wage a war with death,
And spin a World Wide Web of friendship nearly limitless in breadth.

Yet some folks are scared of Science, 'cause it means that nothing's sure.
They don't want its doubts and warnings, and they've learned to fear its cures.
We must not close our eyes, but keep on looking all around,
That's how we'll drink up that river, before we drown.

[Chorus]

There's a river of humanity that's passing through your life,
There is a sea of heavy sorrows and a stream of pain and strife,
There is a river of tomorrow that will carry you away,
And there's an ocean full of endless love to fill each passing day,
There are rivers all around you, in the life you have to live--
All the rivers you've been given and the ones you have to give,
So sing out this final message to the people all around,
You've got to drink up the river before you drown

[Chorus] x 2
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Joshua Kronengold

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