From the recording Rivers ( Vol V of The Gods The Gates and The Sweet Waters)
The Green Hills is just about what the title says, a longing for green and nature versus the city. I started writing while living in Montreal, (which seems such a green city now I live in Japan) but funnily finished while living out in the countryside. Obviously working in Osaka brought it back up. Although finished in 1996, I kept playing with it and came up with everything but the chant in 2009. Though supposedly done, I never felt happy with it. There was something missing. The last line: "Secure in the arms of your beauty of your green hills." Whose green hills? I was guessing some nature deity,but which? I never felt I had a clear image of this elusive figure in the song. Then a close friend, and sometime pagan flute player, Maryse Dumas, posted something about the goddess Tara on her facebook wall. While I am a modern man and not religious, I a cannot express strongly enough to you the overwhelming feeling of release when I read about Tara. It was exactly like the emotion sought in the song: being washed over with cold clear water, totally purifying my heart. Goddess of compassion, overcomer of blocks, unconditional love. Tara is but one Tibetan name for the Guan Yin (Chinese) or Cannon in Japanese Buddhism. Quite possibly she is also Blue Maria of the west who came into Christianity through Artemis/Diana (hunting, moon and nature goddess) herself a Greek interpretation of the Egyptian Isis, who we know for sure is the source of the virgin mother. As a pagan, I believe the images we create of the gods are but encapsulations of energies and ideas that exist in the universe and find their expression through us. When you experience the feeling or energy head on, all the doubt in your mind vanishes. It does not matter that the way we portray these energies is total human imagination. and fantasy. It is the concept, the living, breathing concept that counts. This concept is the idea that there is a force of total, giving compassion in the universe that helps you on your way, and heals all your pain. The source of all rivers and love. The goddess green Tara. I researched her chant on the internet, learned it, and immediately added it into the song. Finally after many years the song felt truly complete and filled. The salmon had returned to the source.
The Green Hills (Tara)© Roman Rhodes, 1996 /Rewrite ©, Roman Rhodes 2009 & 2013
I've been living in a grey townWhere the dark don't come when the sun goes downand the siren’s scream is the only sound that sings you to sleep when you lie down.I've been dreaming bout the green hillsfar from where the money killsand the waters run deep, clear and stilland you hold me against the night chillslike a good lover's arms, wanting nothingbut freedom from harm, wanting nothing. (Om tare tuttare ture sva.)I been longing for a rushing streamwhere salmon spawn among trout and bream,and the falls aren't too high to leap,you can jump right into your big dream.But I've been living in this modern townwhere the only rushing is the kind that wears you down.and bits of papers can bring a good person downand keep their dreams from getting off the ground. like a bad lover's arms, wanting everything out of fear of harm, taking everything.Chorus: I've got to escape this grinding light:This stabbing knife of doubtinto the soft night of my soul.I want to hide away in some dark placeWhere I can be alone, and make my spaceand have the time to grow.(Om tare tuttare ture sva.)How can I fulfil my life?When I'm being picked apart & pushed around,put down, pierced & passed over,pinned & wriggling in a bowl (with my trousers rolled).Of cement canyons, no earth beneath my feet.Too many signs around, too much noise along this street.No stars above, to guide me to the far goal.Ah the center's lost, no way to be whole. I been thinking 'bout these hard times& the kind of life I'd like to findwhere I can keep my soul and not lose my mindamongst all the condoned crime of society gone wrong; taking everything; gone so damned wrong; leaving nothing
oh, I've waited so long for the place I'd rather be, among the nightingale's song, far from all this anxiety,chasing nothing. Oh to be secure in the arms,of the beauty :of your green hills:.