The Bird Sings Oral Tradition Song Library


This song by Joyce Zumeck (now Joyce Luna) gloriously celebrates the power of a life-affirming NO! This is a great song for featuring one or multiple djembes. Learning the words and where the accent falls on the different verse lines can take a little time but the chorus is as easy as it gets.

Composer & Copyright

Words and music by Joyce Zymeck ©1991 Shimmering Sky Music BMI. Find the composer here. Arranged by Marla Wasson. This song came to me from the Denver Women’s Chorus. It is on their first CD, The First 10 Years: A Decade of Daring. Buy the original song on Apple Music here.


Drums on the recording by Chris Gourlay. Vocals by Lisa G. Littlebird.


Verse 1

I will not lie down I will not submit
I will not quiet I will resist
I will not tone down just to keep the peace
I will not be told that I can’t be free, I say..

Verse 2

No more injustice, no more silent fear
No more apathy to stories we hear
No more helping others close their eyes
It’s time for all of us to join in the cry, and say…

Verse 3

You thought you broke us, took our joy away
Well I have news I have something to say
As you can see we are now in our glory
If I were you I might start to worry, we say…

Verse 4

One word took so long to say
For lifetimes of tryin’ it was ocean’s away
One word with the power of life
The power of love, the power to survive, and we say…


1 Comment
  • It’s time for all of us to join in the cry, and say…

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