River of Birds

The Bird Sings Oral Tradition Song Library

River of Birds

This chant is potent in its simplicity, stacking harmony layers to add interest. In the Wholehearted Chorus we start by singing it twice with the original lyrics and our female singers on the melody, then twice more with harmony, then add the male voices, a third high harmony and change “women” to “warriors”.

Composer & Copyright

Original chant by Libana.


Vocals on this recording by Lisa G. Littlebird & Friends.


There’s a river of birds in migration, a nation of women with wings.
There’s a river of birds in migration, a nation of warriors with wings.

  • Found this page after a friend recommended the song for my Coven. I wanted to know the story behind it (that’s how I ended up here).

  • McCadden Honey Sweet Harmony

    We would love to know the names of the original songcatchers, the verses, and anything else of the roots/origin stories of the song and the stories of how ki travelled among networks of nomadic lesbians.

  • Pelican Lee

    Lesbian friends of mine wrote this song in 1976 on women’s land near Oroville CA called Limesaddle. There are two verses to it as well. It traveled through networks of traveling lesbians across the country before Libana recorded it. Are you interested in the verses?

    • Jen Kazen

      Yes, please send them with any additional information you have on the artist(s)? Thank you!

  • Kva Mary

    Thank you so much for all the work you do to make these song accessible to everyone! I appreciate you! Any chance you could record the solos in Oh River? 🙂
    Community song leader in Viroqua, WI

    • Lisa G.

      Thank you Mary! I appreciate your appreciation and am glad the songs are being shared. 🙂 I’m not sure which solos you mean in Oh River. That song is a simple layer song without verses or solos. Perhaps you’re thinking of Dunk Down?

  • We sang this song as our “theme song” for our WeMOON Spring Camping Retreat in Big Sur, last weekend. We sang it around the nights fire, during sweat lodge, before yoga and while hiking … It was just delightful to sing this together with women while the budding energies of Springtime surrounded us and held us up as our warrior self with wings. Thank you Lisa for sharing this great potent song medicine. so grateful. xo Tawny

    • Lisa G.

      Beautiful Tawny! It feels like such a wonderously connected world to hear how/ where/ when our shared songs are getting charged up…

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