Southern Zen (the mockingbird song)

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Lucky Mud
Mike McKinney


I studied Zen back in the late 60's and every self-proclaimed teacher told me the same story. When asked what he did today, the Zen master said, "I chopped wood. I carried water." Being a Southerner, I knew the story couldn't stop there. So, I embellished.


I chopped wood I carried water I burned the wood Just to boil the water Threw in some collards And some fatback ham Made up a little cornbread In the frying pan Fried up some okra Made some blackeyed peas Brewed about a gallon Of sweet iced tea Took it out to the front porch Sat in the swing Closed my eyes Let the day go by And I listened to the mockingbird sing CHORUS: The mockingbird Is a funny looking bird Just an ordinary grey The mockingbird Don't do much as a bird He just sits around all day The mockingbird Ain't a pretty bird No bright colors In his wings But everybody stops What they're doing When he sing, sing, sings Yellow sand And bright red clay Come together In a beautiful way With the long-leaf pines And that flat, flat land It looks like heaven From where I stand It's where I was born And where I was raised I know the people And I know their ways From Pensacola To the Florida Keys You can close your eyes Let the day go by And listen to the mockingbird sing CHORUS:

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