Rev. David Best leads in prophetic song with Bishops and Chaplain at his side

Rev. David Best of Towell and Basin ministries offered an adaption of the prayer-song “Down By the Riverside”, with new verses of repentance for three evils of our time–militarism, racism, and poverty– that obstruct the creation of the Beloved Community of Shalom:

Here we are Lord,

Down by the riverside.

By the rivers of Babylon we hung our guitars and drums;

our horns and harps.

How can we sing in a strange land?

But sing we must . . . and sing we shall!!

So here we are Lord,

Down by the riverside.

And we prayerfully protest and protestantly pray…

For the evidence of your just rule and saving shalom;

For the elimination of war-making, race-hate and poverty-producing

practices;

That in this bleak winter of affluence, the fruit of your just rule and

saving shalom may blossom.

But, we remember the words of the old African-American spiritual:

“It’s me, oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer.”

So help us – help me – be the change we seek…

Let the song of shalom ring in my heart.

I’m gonna lay down my sword and shield,
Down by the riverside, down by the riverside, down by the riverside,
I’m gonna lay down my sword and shield, down by the riverside and
Study war no more
Ain’t gonna study war no more
Ain’t gonna study war no more
Ain’t gonna study war no more
Ain’t gonna study war no more
Ain’t gonna stiudy war no more
Study war no more

I’m gonna lay down my prejudice

Down by the riverside, down by the riverside, down by the riverside

I’m gonna lay down my prejudice down by the riverside and

Study hate no more.

Ain’t gonna study hate no more

Ain’t gonna study hate no more

Ain’t gonna study hate no more

Ain’t gonna study hate no more

Ain’t gonna study hate no more

Study hate no more

I’m gonna lay down my avarice

Down by the riverside, down by the riverside, down by the riverside

I’m gonna lay down my avarice, Down by the riverside and

Study greed no more.

Ain’t gonna study greed no more

Ain’t gonna study greed no more

Ain’t gonna study greed no more

Ain’t gonna study greed no more

Ain’t gonna study greed no more

Study greed no more

Ain’t gonna study war,

Ain’t gonna study hate,

Ain’t gonna study greed,

But sing your shalom ever more.

Traditional, African-American Spiritual

New verses by David M. Best

© 2011 David M. Best