Wipe away your tears, then deal with the closing line.

Song Four, Psalm 137

By the Rivers of Babylon


Wipe away your tears

You survived

Rejoice

You can still taste salt 

In your tea


You’re not captive

Yet you cry 

Poor fools


Today the rivers swell 

And wipe away whole villages

You remember Lhasa

And weep again


Death has that effect

You saved your mother

But other mothers left behind

Died


A few now trickle across

Mount Meru

Camps built for thousands

Receive one or two


No more god-throne

Hoping that freedom 

Might birth democracy 

Instead a new president 

Gets drunk

And rips up the work of 

Generations 


Still we chant Tibet

In hushed tones

It has come to symbolize

Enlightenment of a Buddha


We use his name

To call ourselves home

We no longer rejoice

When little ones are dashed 

Against the stones of Babylon


If only for that

It is enough



King James version


By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.

We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.

For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.

How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.

If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.

Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.

O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.

Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.



This one you can sing. Please try. It’s fun.

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down

Yeah, we wept, when we remembered Zion

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down

Yeah, we wept, when we remembered Zion


There the wicked

Carried us away in captivity

Required from us a song

Now how shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?


There the wicked

Carried us away in captivity

Requiring of us a song

Now how shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?


Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah


Let the words of our mouth and the meditation of our heart

Be acceptable in thy sight here tonight

Let the words of our mouth and the meditation of our hearts

Be acceptable in thy sight here tonight


By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down

Yeah, we wept, when we remembered Zion

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down

Yeah, we wept, when we remembered Zion


By the rivers of Babylon (dark tears of Babylon)

There we sat down (you got to sing a song)

Yeah, we wept (sing a song of love)

When we remembered Zion (yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)


By the rivers of Babylon (rough bits of Babylon)

There we sat down (you hear the people cry)

Yeah, we wept (they need their God)

When we remembered Zion (ooh, have the power)


By the rivers of Babylon (oh yeah yeah), there we sat down (yeah, yeah)


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