I graduated from West Virginia University at the age of 40 with a degree in Forest Resource Management. At the time this major should have been titled "Forest Dismemberment for Fun and Profit". Anyway, to blow off the accumulated negative energy, one of the things I did was write this song, "Kumbrabow".
Kumbrabow is a West Virginia State Forest that harbored a stand of very old hardwood trees . . . as in 300 year old Cherries and Oaks. Such trees are very, very rare. Environmentalists tried to stop the logging of the oldest of these trees with demonstrations and court actions. The State blew it's entire Forestry budget (including it's fire suppression funds) fighting for the ruination of these old stands. They won. They made a million bucks. They also made me write this song.
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To those who sing the forest free
Honor, peace and blessed be
But gold to rust and dreams to weeds
Cursed are them who killed the trees
There may be many reasons to kill a tree
But to kill an old tree, only one
Despite the blathering glowing box on the table
With its immaculate complexion and perfect hair
Soothing the private doubts of public wisdom
Despite the entrance qualifications
Or the final exam at the kangaroo court of facts
Or the big fat A plus at the bottom line
Or the golden cross on the black book of manifest destiny
There is only one reason to wipe from memory
That which can sing open the promise kept
The door to another way
The giant oaks of Kumbrabow were a glory to behold
But to the Lords of Want and Waste
There is no room for the old
And the eyes in Charlie Felton's head
Would take all that they could see
And the sylvan temple tall and fair
Was timbered to its knees
You can count the rings as they were sawn
Three hundred years and now they're gone
Do we tow the line?
To we screw ourselves down?
And do we turn away?
Running fast is for running scared
You can check out any time if you loose your nerve
And this conciousness uponme but what do I know?
If you can't tell the pigas and preachers
From the killers on the eavening news
Do you roll up your windows?
Do you buckle up tight?
And just turn the key and ride away, Cruisers?
So it is gold to rust and dreams to weeds
And cursed are them who killed the trees at Kumbrabow
And there is danger upon the roads
In this the realm of waste and greed
And there is peril in each decision as our blue world fades
And our blue world fades
And I am hearing a call... to arms.
Children of the forest, of the field and town
The hour growsl ate, better stand your ground
We who dwell in the belly of the beast
We can turn his head, we can take him down