(Poem by John Neihardt, tune by Bean, Ken Shepherd)

Cathy - guitar, vocal; Dave didgeridoo, guitar, vocal; Dave Wilson - fiddle; Gary Gallier - frame drum

John G. Neihardt wrote this poem in 1908 after the pieces of it came to him in a dream, and he later considered it one of his best. Neihardt, poet laureate of Nebraska, taught English and poetry at the University of Missouri - Columbia for a number of years, and local legendary musician Ken Shepherd got to know him there. Ken set the poem to music in the 1960s. The song came to us one evening before Easter 1997 via Bob Dyer and David Grimes who managed to recall most of it during an evening of far-flung conversation and home-brewed beer.

Once more the northbound Wonder
Brings back the goose and crane,
Prophetic Sons of Thunder,
Apostles of the Rain.

In many a battling river
The broken gorges boom;
Behold, the Mighty Giver
Emerges from the tomb!
Now robins chant the story
Of how the wintry sward
Is litten with the glory
Of the Angel of the Lord.

His countenance is lightning
And still His robe is snow,
As when the dawn was brightening
Two thousand years ago.

O who can be a stranger
To what has come to pass?
The Pity of the Manger
Is mighty in the grass.
Undaunted by Decembers,
The sap is faithful yet.
The giving Earth remembers,
And only men forget.