DANClNG IN THE MEADOW
Michael Martin Murphey
When the snow-fields thaw and the stream beds crawl to the waterfall and river,
I'll turn my face to the bright green space of the mother, my life-giver.
No man has made a ring of jade like green corn in the husk.
No man could own a turquoise stone as deep blue as the dusk.
So come away from your working day and laugh and let your head go,
And bring along an old-time song for dancing in the meadow.
Leave your bedside for a moonlight ride where the midnight air is warmer.
We'll sing for the quail and the cottontail who still escapes the farmer.
Deep plum thickets and bramble bushes where the quiet creatures hide
Are part of me, a mystery which I accept with pride.
If I must stay and lay all day like a march hare in hedgerow,
When the hunter's gone, it's all night long, for dancing in the meadow.
When the summer's over and come October when the evening air is crisper,
In the mist and smoke by the twisted oak, I'll listen to the branches whisper.
Barn dancers reel, the furrowed field must yield and quickly turn.
Harvest gone, the hoot-owl song is one we now must learn.
"Who, who, who are you?" and "If it's you, who said so?"
"Who could it be?" "It's only me. I'm dancing in the meadow."
When the seasons pass and the hourglass has all too quickly shattered,
You'll lay me low beneath the snow and wonder if I mattered.
Late in the night, your hair gone white will surely stand on end.
You'll hear me sing, my banjo ring, the voice of your old friend.
If you get brave, run to my grave and holler, "Are you dead?" "No!"
No tombstone can cover my bones. I'm dancing in the meadow.
[Sung by Michael Martin Murphey on "Swans against the Sun" and "Wildfire 1972-1984."]