Great Black Crow

Music & Lyrics: Marie-Lynn Hammond
For my mother, Marie-Thérèse (1919–1998)

great black crow in a white birch tree
sun pours gold on a brand new day
great black crow looks down at me
mama’s spirit has flown away

mama never got to see the spring
the buds remain all tightly furled
mama’s spirit has taken wing
and gone we hope to a brighter world

we kept watch through the dark and deep
but mama never liked to trouble us, so
she waited till her girls gave into sleep
then she slipped away with the great black crow

mama didn’t have a lot of earthly goods
we packed her things in an old suitcase
I kept a little statue ’cause she’d said I could
of the Virgin Mary with a sad, chipped face

mama should have lived in the south of France
and spent her time writing poems and plays
mama deserved a long romance
and a peaceful passing in her final days

once there was a shining girl
with a feathered hat and a rhinestone ring
she beams for the camera and out at the world
she can’t wait to see what her life will bring

above the lake the crows fly wild
the wind churns endless waves to foam
and now I am a motherless child
a long, long, long, long way from home
long way from home