I've lived upon this river shore since I was very small
I've watched the seasons turning and I've watched the trees grow tall
I've seen the factories coming, they cluster on the shore
They dump their waste into our lake, and every day there's more
Oh lovely waters that have carried my canoe
Cuyahoga River, what have they done to you?
Once we would go fishing in rowboats every dawn
Now all we see is tanker ships, and all the fish are gone
We could see trout swimming full twenty feet below
But now the water's turned to ink no matter where we row
Our river it was clean and clear, we'd swim there everyday
Now it's far too dangerous, a fence keeps us away
The sun upon the water shone sparkling and royal
But now we see a rainbow from reflections in the oil
Late last Friday I drove home, smelled fire in the air
Couldn't tell the origin, the smoke was everywhere
A sheet of flame rose through the clouds, it cut them like a knife
I saw the river up in flame and giving up it's life
Now the ashes settle on a charred and cindered lake
Staying by this shoreline is a terrible mistake
But the Cuyahoga's seen me grow, and now I've seen it die
Figure I'll stay by it, though I cannot tell you why
Words and music by Kristin Lems c MCMLXXXIII Kleine Ding Music (BMI)
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Cuyahoga River Lyrics

Kristin Lems – Cuyahoga River Lyrics