Highlander Farewell (to the tune of “The Water is Wide”)
—by Jinny Batterson, July, 2014
(This piece was inspired by a few days spent at a conference center in eastern Tennessee that’s become legendary among those of us who’ve been beneficiaries of the civil rights movements of the 1950’s,1960’s, and beyond. While we were there, a group of us got exposed to composing and performing skills in sessions led by John McCutcheon, a singer/songwriter whose varied vocal, compositional, and instrumental talents have inspired generations of listeners. Please feel free to sing this in the shower, share with friends, adapt to your particular circumstances.)
To Highlander we came to learn,
To practice song craft, each in turn,
To revel in a gorgeous place,
To greet each other face to face.
From folk traditions nourished deep,
We strove a heritage to keep,
We felt the rain, soaked in the view,
Relaxed, regrouped, and were renewed.
Too soon our workshop days were done,
We’d sung in groups and one on one,
We’d played recorder and guitar,
The week’s influence might spread far.
From Highlander we’ve now returned
To put in practice what we’ve learned–
To let our spirits’ dreams roam free,
To build beloved community.