Lightning, Bird, Wind, River Man

Declan O’Rourke


If I was a bolt of lightning I’d shoot right down and split the sky

My energy would burn so bright t’would illuminate the darkest night

Maybe I’ll come back as one, half a second I’ll be gone

I’ll zap the earth, light up the sea with a bolt of electricity


If I was a bird upon the wing the sweetest songs you’d hear me sing

I’d fill the air with secret words in a language no one’s ever heard

Round and round the tune would ring, the melody reverberating

Mesmerising and absurd, more like and angel than a bird


But today I don’t want to be anything else but myself

Today I’m a little bit of all these things

There’s a little bit of all these things in me

I’ve got them all in my hand

I’m a lightning, bird, wind, river man


If I was a gust of wind I’d blow around the world three times or so

I’d gather up a million leaves and make a sculpture on the breeze

So beautiful that god would want to know how it was made

Would offer me a handsome price to be the wind in paradise


If I was a river I would be a raging river wild and free

Across the waterfalls I’d flow and rush the rapids down below

So treacherous would be my wrath you would not want to cross my path

I’d run so fast into the sea the waves would be seen on Mercury




Declan O’Rourke was a revelation when he played before Planxty on our 2004 reunion gigs in Vicar St. Dublin. Since that time he has written many fine songs that have been covered the world over. Last year in West Clare we spotted a poster for Kenny’s Music Pub in Lahinch – Live Tonight Declan O’Rourke. We had a great night listening to him as he wove his tapestry of songs. When he sang this song I loved it straight away. The following morning I called him and he gave me the all clear. Long may his melodies reverberate.