Listen (Eel River Song)

The Bird Sings Oral Tradition Song Library

Listen (Eel River Song)

I heard this song came to Meredith Buck as she was participating in a women’s wilderness retreat where each participant was blindfolded and then asked to cross a river, following nothing but the sound of a drummer on the other side.

The second and third layers of the song take a litte time to learn, but the base part is so simple anyone can join in right away.

Thank you to Laurence Cole for introducing me to this gem.

Composer & Copyright

Original song by Meredith Buck.



Part I:
Listen, listen, listen, listen

Part II:
Lay yourself down on the rocks now
Let your body down in the river
Listen for the drumming on the other side
Lose yourself in the meantime

Part III:
Let your body be your guide
Let the water decide
Lose yourself in the meantime

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  • hi lisa,

    meredith here — i’m excited to share that on the 10 year anniversary of the eel river song, i have recorded and released my own recording and story page. you can find it at:

    please feel free to share this and/or link to it from this page. since this page comes up first in search results i would appreciate it 🙂 i’m not active on facebook and haven’t been in many years, so would be the best place for folks to learn about the song moving forward.

    thanks so much for sharing the song and holding it with care !! it’s amazing to see how far the song has traveled in a decade, and counting.

    by the way, i have included a land acknowledgment on the eel river song site. there are a number of nations indigenous to various stretches of the river, with some movement and sharing between areas. according to my research the song came from the territory of the northern yuki. i will keep the eel river song story page updated with any other important information i find.


    • Lisa G.

      Beautiful Meredith! I’m so grateful for this and for your song’s amazing path. I’m updating the page today. Thank you for helping deepen the song’s understanding and lineage with the land acknowledgements and your updated recording. What a joy to see these songs take on a life of their own…

  • Robin Bancroft-Wilson

    My dream is that when we learn songs, along with sharing the person who caught it, we also learn the name of the traditional lands where the song came through. in this case – a specific body of water on the traditional lands of the Snoqualmie and other ancestral Tulalip Indigenous people.

    • Jen Kazen

      Thank you so much Robin. We don’t always know and are truly grateful to learn. Thank you!!

  • I think it’s important to include arranger credit. This is Vanessa Richards’ arrangement. Thanks.

  • Hello:

    A singer/guitar player and I would like to sing your song for a Sunday service about Deep Listening and Really Hearing People.

    Your song nor publisher is listed on our copyright licensing website. I am writing to ask for your permission to sing the song for our Zoom Sunday service and on our website for congregants to listen.

    Other than pledges/donations to the church, there will be no fee or monies paid for the service.

    We would really appreciate it!
    Caryl Tipton
    Director, Music Ministry
    Unitarian Universalist Church at Washington Crossing
    Titusville, NJ

    • Lisa G.

      Permission would need to be granted by the composer, Meredith Buck, however you can safely assume that as long as no monies are being generated specifically for performance or recording of the song, all songs in this library are safe to sing and share freely.

  • Fredereka

    This song!!! Ummmmazing!!!

  • Susan Peck

    Do you have contact information for Meredith Buck? I’m trying to find out more about this song.

  • Willow Hoffman

    Thank you!

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