Blue Highway

from by Larry Long

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River, you were calm
as a blind grandmother
humming over your knitting
for long October days
while the last red leaves
fell into you lap
and floated south.
A bird made of water,
your wet stone wing
flap out to guard
the thousand islands
of sand and sumac
where fires are kindled,
stories told, love made.
Three old friends sat
in a boat beneath an umbrella
reading Mark Twain
to fish who stayed in
your muddy stomach
and would not be charmed
out into the grey light.
But then, going north,
you tried to kill us
and I loved you best
the hard grey chop
of your hundreds of hands
trying to soften the meat
before you eat at last
Whatever else, you are alive:
aorta of the continent
pumping out muddy blood
of cattle yards, corn fields,
and black sinkhole towns
grown up like barnacles
on your whale skin bluffs

- Bill Holm

The people are a river that never ends. The river is a part of the people, resurrected from its myriad deaths; a river that gleams and winds and falls erect through many dams, lost in deep gulleys, turns to dust or flood, rushes in spring freshet, emerges to the sea. The people are a story of long incessant coming alive from the earth, from the rivers, persistent and inevitable.

Out of us they steal their wealth.
They stole the great river.
But we return and bear the strength of the kernel,
Redeem the pollution, the bloody conflict, the immense theft
We will flow again with the river –
Let’s go River. O River let’s go together.

- Meridel LeSueur

Source: the River Circular
Publisher: Mississippi River Revival
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 83-61900


Blue Highway
Shadows dance on the rose
Traveling down this winding road
To return going home
Along the Blue Highway

Source of life, gift of love
To the sea she must run
To return from above
Along the Blue Highway

Along the Blue Highway, my friends
Along the Blue Highway
To return back again
Along the Blue Highway

Ides of March rushing down
Flooding out river towns
Life and death goes round and round
Along the Blue Highway

Along the Blue Highway, my friends
Along the Blue Highway
To return back again
Along the Blue Highway

Black and white, red and yellow
Blue above, green below
All are one within her flow
Along the Blue Highway

Along the Blue Highway, my friends
Along the Blue Highway
To return back again
Along the Blue Highway

Words & music by Larry Long
Copyright Larry Long Publishing 1982 BMI, Renewed 2018
All Rights Reserved.

**Blue Highway was first released by Larry Long on cassette and vinyl through Flying Fish Records in 1984 on a collection entitled Run For Freedom. Blue Highway was reissued by Larry Long on CD in 1997 through Rounder Records on a collection entitled Run For Freedom / Sweet Thunder.


from Slow Night, released November 2, 2018
Larry Long: Lead Vocal & Spoken Word
Antwaun Stanley: Background Vocal
Cory Wong: Electric Guitar
Kevin Gastonguay: Keyboards
Joe Savage: Lap Steel
Yohannes Tona: Bass
Petar Janjic: Drums
Michael Nelson: Trombone, Arranger
Kenni Holmen: Saxophone
Steve Strand: Trumpet 1
Adam Meckler: Trumpet 2

Producer: Cory Wong
Recording Engineer: Matt Patrick, Library Recording Studio
Mixing Engineer: John Fields
Mastering: Cory Wong



all rights reserved



Larry Long Minneapolis, Minnesota

Larry Long is a chip off the old block of American hardwoods, a spoken
word poet, a singer-songwriter, rouser, seeker, storyteller and
conservationist. Well traveled across the world, wherever he
goes, he celebrates people and places in song.

Larry Long is a recipient of the prestigious In The Spirit of Crazy Horse Award for his work in forgotten communities.
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