HOT AND DRY
Scratchin' a life in the desert,
gaspin' in a sea of sand.
Oh, why's the world so hot and dry?
Why no water on our land?
Someone help me understand.
Is it the sin of the people?
Is it all the wrong they do?
God, why's the world so hot and dry?
Why hold back the rain and dew?
Is this what we've all come to?
Came this guy Jonah to visit,
he said: "You're gone!"
News reached the king, so hot and dry:
sackcloth he took out and put on
fasting now for everyone.
Down came the rain from heaven,
God spoke from the stormy sky!
"I will relent from hot and dry.
Ninevites repent and cry:
I'll make sure they do not die!"
Off Jonah stomped from the city,
Hatred in his green-eyed face!
"Lord, take my life in hot and dry!
Knew you were a God of grace!
Knew you'd save this heathen race!
"That's why I sailed off to Tarshish,
tried to sail beyond your gaze.
Knew you would cure their hot and dry!
Merciful are all your ways,
loving to the end of days!"
Sat Jonah down in the desert,
sulking, thought he'd wait and see.
said the Lord, "for hot and dry
won't keep Jonah safe from me!"
So I grew into a tree!
Shelter I gave to this Jonah!
Stopped the sunlight burning his head!
All through that day of hot and dry,
I did what the Lord God said:
Over him my leaves were spread.
Jonah was grateful for shelter.
So God sent a hungry worm!
Chewed me all up, so hot and dry
made me wither, fade and squirm,
Jonah felt the sunstroke burn!
"You were concerned for a seedling,
piece of green that gave you shade.
I am the Lord of earth and sky!
I am on my high crusade:
Rescuing the folk I've made!"
Words and tune copyright (c) John Hartley 2008.
STORY BEHIND THE SONG
I was so impressed by Tom Solanto's song, on the story of Jonah told from the point of view of the fish, which you can find on a SoundClick recording here
and on a YouTube video here
, that I thought I'd have a go at the story from the point of view of one of my favourite characters in it.
The plant grows up one night and is struck down the next night - yet Jonah feels sorry for it. How can he not feel sorry for the 120,000 people who live in Nineveh, as God feels sorry for them?