HONORABLE MENTION AWARD 2011 GREAT LAKES SONGWRITING CONTEST!! Randy Newman also wrote a song about this catastropic 1970 event. I sang this for Captain Jacques Cousteau, with Tim Vear, and it was a high point of my performing life. Luckily, caring people did "stay by it" and the Cuyahoga has now been brought back. Every river needs such protection from its human stewards.
*HONORABLE MENTION AWARD* Great Lakes Songwriting Contest 2011!!
1. I've lived upon this river shore since I was very small
I've watched the seasons turning and I've seen the trees grow tall
I've seen the factories coming to clutter on the shore
They dump their waste into our lake, and every day there's more
CHORUS: Oh lovely waters that have carried my canoe
Cuyahoga River, what have they done to you?
2. Once we would go fishing in rowboats every dawn
Now all we see is tanker ships, and all the fish are gone
We could see trout swimming full twenty feet below
But now the water's turned to ink, no matter where we row
3. Our river it was clean and clear, we'd swim there every day
Now it's far too dangerous, a fence keeps us away
The sun upon the water shone sparkling and royal
But now we see a rainbow from reflections in the oil
4. Late last Friday I drove home, smelled fire in the air
Couldn't tell the origin, the smoke was everywhere
A sheet of flame rose through the clouds, it cut them like a knife
I saw the river up in flame and giving up its life
5. Now the ashes settle on a charred and cindered lake
Staying by this shoreline is a terrible mistake
But the Cuyahoga's seen me grow, and now I've seen it die
Figure I'll stay by it, though I cannot tell you why