Rick Hill
Richard Hill


I heard this story from a Cuban pastor as part of a Bible study.  My mind almost immediately began to wander thinking "this would make a great song!"  As election day approached, I knew I had to get this song out there, it was so much about the power of a vote!


I Always Do What I Can

Words and music by Richard Hill


I may not have the courage of a lion

I may not the reach of a giraffe

I may not have the strength of a rhino

But, believe me, I do what I can…

You know I always do what I can!


  1. Now the jungle was ablaze like a fiery furnace

The animals, terrified, scattered and ran

At the top of a hill a menagerie gathered;

A lion, a rhino and a skinny giraffe

There was a lion, a rhino and a string bean giraffe


The lion roared, "What's become of our country!"

The rhino stomped his big feet in disgust;

The giraffe was swayin’ with a mournful moanin’

The fire raged on in spite of the fuss

Yes the fire raged on disregarding the fuss!


While the three carried on hour upon hour

A little bird flew by with a drop in its beak

It let loose its load on the blazing inferno

Returning for more, he took a moment to speak

Going back to reload, he paused for a speech…


Now the troubles in our world may ravage like a wildfire

The problems we face, a conflagration enraged

But if each of us uses the gifts we’ve been granted

A single drop multiplied turns into a wave

A whole lot of droplets become tidal waves!


Rick Hill
Richard Hill


This song began when the comet Halle-Bopp appeared back in the mid-nineties. I was amazed at how fast this thing was travelling and yet it seemed to just "hang" in the Western sky. I coupled this with a short conversation I had with some teenagers about how the older folks in their church always wanted things to stay the same. I thought that we coould use a song that would help us deal with the ever changing world in a bit more positive manner. The song pays homage to Paul Simon's "Fifty-Ninth Street Bridge Song" because that is such a happy, upbeat tune.


Everything Changes Words and music by Richard Hill

1. A comet hangs in the western sky

Its hard to believe how fast it can fly

A tail that stretches for thousands of miles

On a journey through the universe it visits a while


Rivers flow and the mountains grow

Everything changes wherever you go

The whole world spinning on a journey through space

Nothing I know of ever stays in one place.

2. My name is Pat, my name is Ray

I left home on a sunny blue day

My name is Sonja, my name is Jae

I went for a walk when I needed a change

3. Have you got roots, I got roots, too

When trouble comes, you know

your roots will see you through

But even your roots are travelers, too

On a journey through the soil in search of your food

© 2007, by Richard Hill, Schoharie, NY 12157

Rick Hill
Richard Hill


I started writing this song back in 1993.  Originally it had only three verses, but i always thought it was missing something.  While I was waiting to play at an elementary school, the fourth verse came to me.  The children singing on this recording are my nephew's kids.  It was recorded on the front porch of our family's vacation place in the Poconos.


  1. Oh I wish I was a fish, swimmin’ in a pond

I’d be happy as a lark, just floatin’ all along

‘Cause if I was a fish and if I was in a pond

I’d go rollin’ I’d go rollin’

just rollin’ all along



Oh I wish I was a fish, swimmin’ in a pond

I’d be happy as a lark, just floatin’ all along

‘Cause if I was a fish and if I was in a pond

I’d go rollin’ I’d go rollin’

just rollin’ all along


2. Oh I wish I was a tree, growin’ by the pond

    I’d be tall I’d be handsome, I would be so very strong

    And in the heat of summer I’d be a shade from the sun

    And in the Fall my leaves would be just floatin’ on the pond


3.  Now I wish I was a fisherman, sittin’ by the pond

    With my rod and my reel and my line of nylon

    I would sit myself beneath the tree and lay my rod down

    And be dreamin’ of the fishes in the bottom of the pond


4.  You can spend your life wishin’ that you were somebody else

    You can waste your days thinkin’ of ways to change yourself

    But a pond is not a fish and a fish is not a tree

    And I can’t be somebody else, ‘cause no one else is me

Rick Hill


Warm shadows dance upon the walls

The crackling fire embracing

The pillowed soft of cozy chairs

The deep-napped window dressing

The velvet plush, pulled back a bit

Reveals the lace beneath

And Martha parting lace from lace

Steps up to take a peek


From golden warmth, she looks intent

Upon the frozen ground

The sun's been hidden all day long

By snow held in the clouds

And now as darkness steals the day

The shadows twine together

And Martha stands her quiet watch

Untouched by sound or hour


     All night long Martha's at the window watching

      Morning comes and Martha still is there

      All night long I can hear her softly singing

      Morning comes and her music scents the air

What vision holds her to the panes

What could she hope to see?

For all night long her sparkling eyes

Search from tree to tree

And now a gentle snow falls, silent,

Blanketing the ground

And Martha hums a song remembered

When she was quite young


In morning grey the snow have come

And Martha's eyes grow heavy

She peeks once more through frost to see

Footsteps in the blanket.

Then rushing, joyous, glass to glass

Throws open every curtain

And stands to wait fro Martha's dream

Now treads the path for certain!


Rick Hill
Richard Hill


This song is the oldest song on the CD. It was actually written in the early 80's. I wanted a song that would relate some of the tension between what we preach at Christmas and the realities of the human condition. We don't want war. People die in war - friends, loved ones. It is a terrible tragedy. But there is this hopefulness that lingers deep within us - "Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men." Someday, that dream will become a reality.


Fare Thee Well Words and music by Richard Hill Fare thee well, my only darling Fare Thee well, my own true love I must leave my captain’s calling To fight for freedom with my blood. Off he rode into the forest On his steed so gallantly. Sword in hand, he never noticed The tears she cried to see him leave. There she stayed, watched for his coming There she waited for some word. Saw a messenger come running Bearing his shield and his sword. “Sad, my lady, news I bring you Of the battle fought so brave For your love lies in the field’s dew Slain by hate, sent to his grave.” Tears she wept flowed like a river Tears she cried all through the night Songs of Christmas reached her never Though it seemed the forest tried. Angels hovering o’er the woodland Bringing joy, their gift to send Singing songs about the Christ child “Peace on earth, good will toward men.” Copyright © 1979, Richard Hill, Schoharie, NY 12157
Rick Hill
Richard Hill


I had the idea for the song when I watched an airliner fly overhead.  I wondered if there was someone on board that plane who was looking down to earth wishing he/she could land.  I spent quite a bit of time contemplating the irony of the situation – each person is living the dream of the other.  Neither are content where they are. 

I am always amazed at how various pieces of a larger puzzle come together.  The music – as well as further investigation into the theme – was inspired by the intro music to a movie called “Astronaut Farmer.”  Though not one of the all time great movies it does have an interesting story line about a man who pursues a dream.  Then I read the article quoted above and more of the song fell into place.  Last, there is the influence of F. Scott Fitzgerald.  I have been reading some of his books and I love the way he uses the language for some of his descriptions.  So, I tried to be a bit more creative in my word choices.


The harvest is gone from the field

He plants his feet where the stalks sleep withered and empty

With roots reaching deep in the soil

Fine filament fingers defining the labors of a lifetime.

He turns his face toward the indigo shroud

And dreams of piercing the sky

Reaching a hand, caressing a cloud

His terren heart longs to fly


Miles in the sphere overhead

He sets F. Scott down and stares at the clouds out his window

For years he’s lived on the plane

Leaving trails of fading gossamer lacing behind him

The clouds break apart; earth’s colors are spilt;

Bento-boxed calico soft on a bed

He closes his eyes and he’s wrapped in that quilt

Oh how he wishes he’d land.


The grass seems greener on the other side of flight

Our dreams out of reach of our hands

If we could but hold them for a moment we’d find

Some truce between stars and sand


There’s a place in the distance we see

Where earth touches sky, shadow and light meld together

Each day in our life we believe

And as miles turn to memories that longing, breathes heavy and deeper

There’s some who fly at the speed of sound

Some near motionless stand

Some afraid they are stuck to the ground

And some who fear they won’t land.

Rick Hill
Richard Hill


This song was written during  the Swannanoa Gathering music camp.  It comes from the story of Jesus walking on the water (Matthew 14).



If you need some certainty

If you’re feeling drained

If you need a place to stand

Walk upon the waves

If you need some harmony

If you need some space

Take a walk out on the sea

Walk upon the waves


Every day is a workday

Rollin’ stones up a hill

Each stone getting bigger

Each day getting’ filled

Look across the mountains

And out to the blue

The waves are rollin’

Are they callin’ you?


Quickly how the years pass

Tho each seems so slow

Fighting with the changing wind

Fighting with the flow

Travelin by steamship

Or paddlin a canoe

There’s light upon the water

Is it calling you?


When the night is darkest

At the height of the storm

When the sea is raging

When the sails are torn

Reach in to the ocean

And take off your shoes

There’s wonder in the water

Is it calling you?

Rick Hill
Traditional, additional verses by Richard Hill


I've been singing "Simple gifts " for a number of years.  It is such a short song, with only one verse, that I decided to try my hand at writing another two verses.  Always a challenge to try and keep the new writing in the same style as the old.  Folks seem to respond well, telling me how much they enjoy even the new verses!


1.  ‘Tis a gift to be simple, ‘tis a gift to be free

      ‘Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be

      And when we find ourselves in the place just right

     ‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight


    When true simplicity is gained

    To bow and to bend we shant be ashamed

    To turn, turn will be our delight

    ‘Til by turning, turning we come ‘round right.


2.  ‘Tis a gift to have friendship   that’s as true as can be

     ‘Tis a gift to have love from each one’s family

      A man cannot be richer nor a woman find more worth

     Than the hand of a friend while  we walk the Earth


3. There are gifts from heaven,  there are gifts from the ground

    There are gifts we receive all the year around

    And when we bow our heads, open hearts and minds

    We become a gift for all humankind

Rick Hill
Richard Hill


This is the final song in the "Excellent 11" series focusing on "Creativity."  It uses the story of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery as the foundation (John 8:1-11).  Creativity helps us see things in new ways which helps us solve seemingly unsolvable problems.


From Dust

Words and music by Richard Hill

copyright by Richard H. Hill, 2012, all rights reserved

I settled in the dust................. And everyone knew

Nothin’ more than mud.......... It was understood

Look up to the sky................... Tower’d o’er by trees

That leafy canopy.................... Roots ran so deep


Everyone knows...................... Everyone sees

That’s how it goes................... It was meant to be.


I settled for the dust................ And I never grew

Far too great the cost.............. Of seemin’ a fool

Lines drawn in the dust........... An invitation to stand

Rise above the forest.............. Claim who I am


Not everyone knows............... Not everyone sees

It doesn’t have to go............... It never had to be


Where are your accusers now?

They have all escaped...

Light breaks thru the forest boughs

And shows another way...


We were made from dust....... To dust we shall return

Between we rise above........... How far’s to be determined

You can shine your light.......... For everyone to see

Help someone to find.............. Help someone to lead


Not everyone knows............... What everyone sees

The way it tends to go        Is not the way it has to be

Rick Hill


What a glorious day, you know I feel like dancin' Sun came up from a new direction Ahh, the streets have been lined with gold There's diamonds in the cobblestones, so I've been told The way they sparkle, I can tell its so You see what you wanna see and I see gold!