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How Far Back Does Music Go?

lyrics © 2001 by Catherine Faber,
melody © 2001 by Catherine Faber and Arlene "Callie" Hills

In the rhythm of a heartbeat music is begun
In the rhythm that we travel when we saunter, when we run.
The thrill that lifts our hackles when the wind begins to moan
We learned to recreate with just a length of hollow bone
I look at all the pieces and I really want to know
How far back does music go?

How far back (I say) how far back does music go?
How far back--how far back does music go.
When the rhythm of a mama's heart'll make a baby grow.

Through the mesh of our perceptions music seems to reach
To the nerves we grow to notice how emotion colors speech.
Speed and pitch and volume held relaxed or urgent vibes
In the wordless cries and chatter of pre-neolithic tribes.
If the stimulus is missing, the pathways never grow
How far back does music go?

Dolphin calves learn music in the waters off the coast
Fledglings study music where the sparrows curse and boast
Wolves will sing together; it's a guess, but I'll be bound
Words grew out of music, not the other way around
Listen to the world, then come and say it isn't so:
How far back does music go?


The URL of this page is http://www.echoschildren.org/CDlyrics/HOWFARBACK.HTML
It was created by Cat Faber (cat(at)echoschildren.org). It is maintained by Arlene "Callie" Hills (callie(at)echoschildren.org).