Digital Tradition Mirror

La Belle Riviere

La Belle Riviere
(Dillon Bustin)

1. Back in the days, the old books describe,
   Back in the days of the Indian tribes,
   They prayed to the river to forever flow,
   And the name that they give her was Ohio
   They fished her clear waters, They camped on her hills
   Bathed at her shallows and drank at her rills
   Some Frenchmen they came, scouting for game,
   Gazed at the river, and asked of her name.

     La belle riviere, the great shining water,
     Cas-quin-ampo-gamou La Fleuve du Saint Louis
     No matter the name, the meanings the same
     She's a beautiful river, the Ohio.

2. The next to come in were the Kentuckians,
   The Buckeyes, the Hoosiers, the Suckers and then,
   They bought off the Indians, they cut down the trees,
   For their barns and their mills and their factories.
   Down by the cornfield she ran with the mud
   Down by the slaughterhouse she flowed with the blood.
   Below the brewery she was covered with suds
   In the spring of the year she could not help but to flood.

3. The next to come in were the government men,
   With their bankers and lawyers, their soldiers and then
   They told the shantyfolk well you needn't fear,
   To let the river be dammed by our engineers
   With a lock over here, and a dock over there,
   Bridges and trestles spanning the air
   We'll build a pumphouse above every town,
   Bring the fresh water in and let the sewage float down.

4. The last to come in have been the industry men,
   Investing their billions around every bend
   Reactors they leak, refineries spill
   Yet it's pleasant to swim in and healthful to drink.
   And I'm sitting here on the levee
   Wonderin' at this long history, I'm wonderin' at this river of fame
   And if she ever again will live up to her name.

Copyright Moonbow Music, 1984.

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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