Floating Down the River
© bmi all rights reserved 2009
Author: David Rovics
There’s an upright piano
And the church where it was played
I can still hear the fire
Of the music that they made
These wild priests of Coltrane
As high as you could get
Now their picture’s in the water
With a broken clarinet
And the bodies floating down the river
 
There’s the very heart of harmony
A diminished minor chord
A demitasse of Cafe du Monde
Into which a poet poured
From a melior of coffee
Freshly brewed and filled
I saw his notebook passing by
And the coffee that he spilled
Along with the bodies floating down the river
 
There’s a cracked and sunken altar
And Jesus on a cross
And hanging from a pole
The soiled work of Betsy Ross
The sidewalk muralist is shouting
People can you see
All the broken promises
Of Lady Liberty
With the bodies floating down the river
 
There’s the ghost of Lincoln
Lying in the mud
Mother Mary’s playing Zydeco
And shedding tears of blood
The last vestige of democracy
Was just shot for looting bread
The levees were all busted
Now they’re good as dead
Along with the bodies floating down the river
 
There’s a Hummer driving
Down the boulevard
There’s Halliburton contractors
And the Army National Guard
Blackwater Security
Ready to attack
There’s no food and there’s no doctors
And it smells just like Iraq
With the bodies floating down the river
 
The prisons are all empty now
The dead men have been cleared
They drowned inside their cells
When the guards all disappeared
But I saw somebody’s uniform
As it was passing by
Words on it spelled in blood
I guess now we’re gonna die
And join the bodies floating down the river
 
Now many months have passed
And it all just looks the same
So many dead and missing
No one knows their names
No one to clear the rubble
No one to rebuild
Some say the city died
I say it was killed
Along with the bodies floating down the river