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The Riverbank

Paul Simon

Stranger To Stranger


Frightened by the tone of a 'phone in the dead of night
Then staring into darkness and praying 'til the morning light
The price already paid, a son gone to the grave
Now the sorrowful parade to the riverbank

Must be half the county come down to the riverbank
High school is closed, same for the local police
Shall we tearfully embrace, shall we sing "Amazing Grace"?
Will the shallow river waters bring us peace?

Army dude, only son, nowhere to run
no one to turn to, he turns to the gun
It's a cross, it's a stone, it's a fragment of bone
It's a long walk home, a long walk home
Gonna be a long walk home from the riverbank

Is there any reason why the black pine should not weep?
Is there a woman or a man
who wouldn't understand why he could not sleep?
And the nightmares when they came
like poison to the brain
Reminded him again life is cheap

Army dude, only son, nowhere to run
no one to turn to, he turns to the gun
It's a cross, it's a stone, it's a fragment of bone
It's a long walk home, a long walk home
Gonna be a long walk home from the riverbank

Army dude's mama at the edge of the river
Limp as a rag, American flag in her arms
Then a triangle of light kissed the red and blue and white
Along the riverbank, past the dealerships and farms

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