Amber Wave

Amber Wave

 

My country tis of thee,

back broken by industry,

of thee I sing.

 

You spat me forth a wandering child,

you made me hungry for your wild, wild, wild, wild blood.

 

When once there ran through every vein

that lonesome hobo’s rattling train —

you could hear that steel rail hum.

 

What have you done?

What have you done?

 

It’s an old man when he stumbles

It’s a young man when he struggles

It’s an amber wave

It’s a young girl when she accepts you

Such a long line when she rejects you

It’s an amber wave

 

Oh, say can you see

the ugly stain of bravery

by the dawn’s early light?

 

And the righteous in their white parades

are stained red by the motorcades.

The cameras clatter — stop, clack, stop.

 

All the blind men with their paper cups,

the ghosts on the boulevard looking up —

there was a flash, there was a bang.

 

It’s an old man when he stumbles

It’s a young man when he struggles

It’s an amber wave

It’s a young girl when she accepts you

Such a long line when she rejects you

It’s an amber wave

An amber wave

 

And my eyes have seen the glory;

yeah, they’re coming with the swords:

no, it won’t be long.

 

But there’s beauty in your eyes tonight,

so sing what you’ve got and get it right.

this is the life you’ve made,

the straw you’ve drawn.

 

It’s an old man when he stumbles

It’s a young man when he struggles

It’s an amber wave

It’s a young girl when she accepts you

Such a long line when she rejects you

It’s an amber wave

An amber wave

 

(Life Underwater Music, 2003)

James O'Brien