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> Norma Waterson > Songs > Earth


[text Les Barker; music trad. arr. Martin Carthy]

Earth is a poem from Les Barker’s book Collieflowers.

Norma Waterson, accompanied by Martin Carthy on guitar, sang Earth on Les Barker’s 1999 album The Wings of Butterflies. This track was included in 2000 on the 2 CD anthology Mr Straw’s Hallway and in 2004 on the Watersons’ 4 CD anthology Mighty River of Song.


Norma Watersons sings Earth

I was here before your father;
And I’ll be here when you are gone,
See you give way to another;
And I’ll be here when he moves on.
Drops of water in my ocean,
Tides of life to ebb and flow;
I was here before your father;
And I’ll be here the day you go.

I can not be won by losses,
Nor can I be bought by blood,
Borne away on seas of crosses,
Men who lie where once they stood.
I am not your prize for dying;
I am not your gift by birth.
Time moves on, in time denying
All your lives upon my earth.

Tides of life, your tides of battle,
Briefly touch my soil with red;
I am not the victor’s chattel,
Nor am I owned by the dead.
I am Earth; I am eternal,
You are but one moment’s pause,
Just a line lost in my journal;
You are mine; I am not yours.


Poem copied from Collieflowers with slight adaptions to the singing of Norma Waterson by Reinhard Zierke.