Famine, Flood and Fire

An old woman approached me just the other day
“I lived in Washington, DC,” she began to say
“They all sang ‘We Shall Overcome’ back in 1964
Where did that all go now that it’s needed even more?”
I thought I should have an answer – I think I should now, too
But when I look around me now, I’m afraid I haven’t a clue
With the country and the world sinking ever deeper in the mire
In this age of famine, flood and fire

Walking on the ashes, through the toxic, hazy air
Past the chimneys – the only things still standing there
Now if we think ahead seven generations
What little might remain of what we call civilization
It was maybe damned to start with, but what a thing to comprehend
That you and I and our grandchildren may be the ones who watch it end
Now that it is past the time when it was only down to the wire
In this age of famine, flood and fire

I used to marvel at the people going out and having fun
I’d wonder if they thought of all that which must be done
Now it’s too late to join them in the ignorance and bliss
I’ll just wonder as I watch them, might their children live like this?
All the pot in California cannot numb the pain
And sometimes I try to figure out, in the time that still remains
How would I spend the rest of it just fulfilling my desire
In this age of famine, flood and fire

Perhaps a scientific breakthrough will allow us all to live
Now that industry has robbed the Earth of all it had to give
Maybe from the ashes, new life will arise
That will not be burdened by what I’ve witnessed with these eyes
Perhaps some global spring will be born out of the flood
A great forest will grow up from somewhere beneath the mud
But if I said I was an optimist then I would be a liar
In this age of famine, flood and fire