Words ©1993 Valentine Doyle
Music ©1994 Gordon Bok
Gordon – 12-string guitar
When Valentine sent me these words, I didn’t know she had also written a tune, so I worked this one out for it. Valentine says, “This is a song for all the creatures of the world, at the moment of their leaving it. My version is for a guardian spirit in New England, where all the creatures in it live or have lived, except the bighorn sheep, which I couldn’t resist. If your region has a bird or beast I’ve left out, or you need a verse for a prairie or desert, feel free to add one.”
Come my beloved ones, come and follow me home
Come when it’s time your days here are done
I am the Shepherd, I gather my own
Leave fear and hunger and follow.
Follow me down the wide world
Follow me home, my children.
Come, oh my forest ones, come and follow me home
Chipmunk and owl, raccoon and jay,
Come from the cool shadows hid from the day,
Leave your deep forest and follow.
Come, oh my meadow ones, come and follow me home
Woodchuck and mole, kestrel and quail,
Come from your burrows and grass-winding trails
Leave your bright meadow and follow.
Come, oh my river ones, come and follow me home
Muskrat and loon, otter and crane
Come from the high banks, the reeds in the rain
Leave your brown river and follow.
Come, oh my mountain ones, come and follow me home
Bighorn and bear, cougar and hawk,
Come from the timberline, windy grey rock,
Leave your wild mountain and follow.
Come, oh my ocean ones, come and follow me home
Petrel and seal, curlew and whale,
Come from the combers in calm and in gale,
Leave your grey ocean and follow.
Come oh my friends of man, come and follow me home
Lovebird and cat, plough-horse and hound
Come from the fireside, from farmstead and town
Leave your warm household and follow
Come when you know the call, come and follow me home
Come from the hill, the valley, the sea
Hunters and hunted ones, gather to me
Leave all you know and come follow