Psalm 137

is among the most intense and confounding texts in all of scripture. It takes courage to hear the story and even greater courage to pray with the psalmist when the world is falling apart.

137 (Psalm 137)

A song of devastation, trauma and survival.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part I: We Sat By the Waters 
Psalm 137.1-4 

We sat by the waters of Babylon and wept 
    when we remembered Zion, Zion. 
We sat by the waters of Babylon and wept 
    when we remembered Zion, Zion. 

On the bending willows there we hung up our instruments 
and wept when we remembered Zion, Zion, Zion. 

For there in our exile, we were forced to speak of home. 
They said, "Sing for us one of the songs of Zion 
Sing for us one of your little sacred songs.” 
They said, "Sing for us one of your songs of Zion" 

But how could we sing our songs on strangers' soil? 
How could we sing our songs on strangers' soil? 
So we sat by the waters of Babylon and wept 
     remembering Zion, Zion, Zion. 


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Part II: If I Forget You 
Psalm 137.5-6 

Part 1: 
If I forget you, Jerusalem, beloved Jerusalem. 

Part 2: 
If I lose my heart, my source of joy. 

Part 3:  
Let my strumming hand forget how to play 
Let my voice lock up and my music die away. 


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Part III: O God, Remember With Us 
Psalm 137.7 

O God, O God, O God, remember with us. 
O God, O God, O God, remember with us. 

Remember the day she fell and all our courage died? 
Remember the day she fell 
Remember what the terrorists cried? 

"Tear her down! Tear her down! Strip her to the ground! 
"Tear her down! Tear her down! Strip her to the ground!” 

Remember the day she fell. 
O God, remember with us. 


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Part IV: An Open Letter to the Warriors of Babylon and Edom 
Psalm 137.8-9 

Warriors of Babylon, you mock us now 
but you've planted the seeds of your own fall. 
When those seeds bear fruit, you know when that day comes, 
we will bless the justice done 
We will bless the justice done  

You are terrorists and you've tormented us 
How dare you teach your children to hate 

Stop the cycle now, so never again. 

We'd be happy to see anyone 
smash your babies on the rocks of Babylon. 

If I forget you, Jerusalem, Beloved Jerusalem 

Curses on you Edomites You're doomed to fall 
You've planted seeds that will bear fruit of justice done 
Babylon!  
Babylon!  
Babylon!

 

Words and music by Richard Bruxvoort Colligan

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Sing it with your circle

137 demo Charts:

  • piano score

  • ​lead sheet

  • guitar/bass chart

  • jpgs of congregational line 

  • songleader's notes

137 demo

Charts

$10.00

137 demo Accompaniment Pack:

  • all charts above

PLUS:

  • original mp3 recording

  • powerpoint lyric slides

137 demo

Accompaniment Pack

$12.00

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