Psalm 137: So Far from Home

Update 1/15/22: Sheet music for this song is now available at


I’ve broken a lot of new musical ground in my time–writing the first endlessly looping Vine praise song, for example–but I’m pretty sure this first will be one for the history books:

The first congregational song with a curse word.

Before you get all in a bunch about parental advisory hymns, let me point out its theological appropriateness. “So Far from Home” is a setting of Psalm 137, which includes the imprecation: “Blessed is he who dashes their babies against the rocks.” What is an imprecation if it’s not a curse? In this case, I decided to recast Psalm 137 in a modern context, replacing harps with guitars and the Psalms oppressors with the modern forces of human misery: slave traders, pimps, and wars.

1. We sat by the river and played our guitars,
Dreaming of better days.
If memories are fires, then songs are the spark,
But they’re both starting to fade. They are starting to fade.

How can we sing the songs of the Lord
Here on foreign ground?
How could we raise a song of joy
When we’re so far from home?

2. We sat under willows and taught them our songs;
The wind played the branches like harps.
Tears in our eyes, laments on our tongues,
And such sadness in our hearts. Only sadness in our hearts.

3. God damn the slave traders, pimps, and the wars
that have taken our sons and our daughters.
God bless the children huddled for warmth,
cause the night is getting colder. Oh, the night’s getting colder.

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One Response to Psalm 137: So Far from Home

  1. Pingback: Psalm 124: If God Had Not Been on Our Side | The Musical Diary of Greg Scheer

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