“Breaths” – Sweet Honey in The Rock


 

Poem by Birago Diop; Music by Ysaye Maria Barnwell © 1980

listen more often to things than to beings
listen more often to things than to beings

tis the ancestors breath when the fire’s voice is heard
tis the ancestors breath in the voice of the water

those who have died have never, never left
the Dead are not under the earth

they are in the rustling trees, they are in the groaning woods
they are in the crying grass, they are in the moaning rocks

the Dead are not under the earth

so listen more often to things than to beings
listen more often to things than to beings

tis the ancestors breath when the fire’s voice is heard
tis the ancestors breath in the voice of the water

those who have died have never, never left
the Dead have a pact with the living

they are in the woman’s breast
they are in the wailing child

they are with us in the home
they are with us in the crowd

the Dead have a pact with the living

so listen more often to things than to beings
listen more often to things than to beings

tis the ancestors breath when the fire’s voice is heard
tis the ancestors breath in the voice of the water

listen more often to things than to beings
listen more often to things than to beings

tis the ancestors breath when the fire’s voice is heard
tis the ancestors breath in the voice of the water

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