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They Spoke With Their Hands

Lyrics and melody ©1999 by Catherine Faber

When I was a youngster, to question, or teach,
The dance of our hands was our manner of speech;
It was long till I learned that no other could hear
The soft sound as the wind touched the curve of their ear.

We spoke with our hands and we heard with our eyes,
We were rough and silly and gentle and wise
But
bird song's a thing no one else understands
In a village where everyone speaks with their hands

But much as they loved me, I grew in their fears,
For I heard around corners, their laughter or tears
And I couldn't explain, not for all of my care
How I gazed on their hearts through no sense they could share.

I tried to conceal it, but still I was caught
And fear turned to anger; they trusted me not
Till I ran from the mob through the cheatgrass and sage
Fleeing unseen the bare sound of their rage.

I dream of the chance all my dreams to restore
Let our hands dance together, build bridges once more
But should fear drive out love I will work them no ill
Earth be my witness, I miss them still.


"Bird song" in the first chorus becomes "music" in the second chorus and "thunder" in the last chorus.

The URL of this page is http://www.echoschildren.org/CDlyrics/SPKHANDS.HTML
It was created by Cat Faber (cat(at)echoschildren.org). It is maintained by Arlene "Callie" Hills (callie(at)echoschildren.org).