Lyrics & Liner Notes

Lyrics

BENDING TOWARD JUSTICE*
by Ann Zimmerman © 2014

What is this thing called justice, the child asked the elder,
And when will I ever find it, when, when, when?

Said the elder, This is a question wise
Searched in the dark by a thousand eyes
Challenging all of the alibis
   Of heart and mind.

Some have seen through the ages long
When we live with our conscience strong
We edge closer to right than wrong
   And we find

We are bending, bending toward justice.
And we're hungry now till it comes
We are bending, bending toward justice
Yes, and mercy for the daughters and sons.

But what is the thing called justice, the child asked the elder,
And when will I ever see it, when, when when?

It's the hungry fed and the naked clothed
Sharing the comforts and all the woes
A chance for each one to learn and grow
   And flourish like a seed.

It is speaking the truth to mercy's end
Turning an enemy to a friend
Never allowing your light to bend
   Toward the gravity of greed

We are bending, bending toward justice.
And we're hungry now till it comes
We are bending, bending toward justice
Yes, and mercy for the daughters and sons.

What can I do for justice, the child asked the elder
And how can I bend us closer, tell me now

Do your best to love as the sages say
Learn all you can, try to find a way.
Seek till you think your heart will break,
    And that's not all -

As the rivers dry and the ocean warms
And lives are lost in the angry storms
A far greater justice must be born
   To save us all

We are bending, bending toward justice.
And we're hungry now till it comes
We are bending, bending toward justice
Yes, and mercy for the daughters and sons.

Show me the way to justice, said the elder to the child
I need your youth to guide me, and what's more,

Dear child, How can I judge the righteous ways
I'm a poor excuse for a wise old sage
I need the help of your younger days,
   Your strength, your soul

Said the child, See the world through my wondrous eyes
Loving shared is the greatest prize
Laugh their laughs and cry their cries.
   Then we'll know

We are bending, bending toward justice.
And we're hungry now till it comes
We are bending, bending toward justice
Yes, and mercy for the daughters and sons

*"Bending Toward Justice" was commissioned by the Unitarian Universalist MidAmerica Region as the theme song for its 2014 regional conference whose theme was "Hunger for Justice." The song may be used by any Unitarian Universalist Church or Fellowship without fee. All others need permission from Ann Zimmerman. Sheet music is also available by contacting Ann Zimmerman.