They say brevity is the source of wit; I can affirm that a stomach flu is the source of brevity.
So I’ll be brief:
This song was written on Spencer’s Butte, Eugene, Oregon in 1985. The composer writes, “I was sitting with my friend David, looking out over the vast view of the Willamette Valley, wondering about the ancient roots of the area, talking about the original native tribes who lived there before the white settlers came. We became quiet and sat in meditation for a long time. I was shifted out of meditation dramatically when I became aware that I was singing the song Mother I Feel You Under My Feet, Mother I Hear Your Heartbeat. I sang it for a long time and was very moved by the experience.”
And here are the lyrics:
Mother I feel you under my feet,
Mother I hear your heart beat,
Heya heya heya ya heya heya ho,
Heya heya heya heya heya ho
Mother I hear you in the river song,
Eternal waters flowing on and on,
Father I see you when the eagle flies,
Light of the Spirit, gonna take us higher.
I wrestle again, as I always do on these pages, with the exclusively binary language and always wish for “parent” to be one of the verses along with “mother” and “father”… but of course that wasn’t a consideration then, nor is it appropriate to just change a living composer’s lyrics.
Anyway. It’s a good tune and an easy thing to sing – it’s not written as a canon or round but it would certainly work like that if you were not doing the quodlibet thing.
Photo of the view from Spencer’s Butte by Tess Freeman/Oregon Daily Emerald.