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The Killing Fields

Rosanne Cash
Language: English


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(2021)
The Killing Fields

Rosanne Cash’s tackles America’s disgraceful history of lynchings in her searing new song “The Killing Fields.”

“The blood that runs on cypress trees/cannot be washed away,” Cash sings over a sparse arrangement provided by her musical partner and husband John Leventhal. “By mothers’ tears and gasoline/and secrets un-betrayed.”

“A few years of my own personal reckoning with painful issues of race, racism, privilege, reconciliation, and individual responsibility led up to the moment in the summer of 2020, when finally no one could avert their eyes from the truth of white privilege in America, and the damage and sorrow caused by systemic racism,” Cash said of her new song. “I wrote ‘The Killing Fields’ in that summer.”

Rosanne Cash's New Song 'The Killing Fields' Addresses a Dark Moment in American History
You crossed on Brooklyn Ferry not a boy, but not a man
Left behind the Navy Yard
And your father's mislaid plans
I was at the other ocean
And I could not get away
From the flurry of emergencies every single day

There was cotton on the killing fields
It blows down through the years
It sticks to me just like a burn fills my eyes and ears

And all that came before me is not everything I am
A girl who settled far too low
On religion and that man

The low ebb of the rocky soil
The high tide of the trees
The dust of men and thunderstorms
The parched and rolling sea
He's running through the killing fields
Just like a hunted deer
Impartial moon, uncaring stars
He falls where no one hears

The blood that runs on cypress trees
Cannot be washed away
by mothers' tears and gasoline
and secrets un-betrayed

I know it's hard to hear these words
They sure are hard to say
But listen to the mockingbird
Who sings over their graves

The ripple of the life unlived
The ghosts of mice and men
The empty space of one man's heart
And what he might have been

St. Margaret, she looks over us
St. Margaret and her kin
At the far edge of the killing fields
She stands there now and then

So goodbye to your Navy Yard
Goodbye to my sea
A truce between the East and West
And my Southern history

And goodbye to the killing fields
I'll break every single bow
'Cause all that came before you
And all that came before me
And all that came before us
Is not who we are now

2021/5/16 - 14:17



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