Song Presentation: Larry Norman – “The Great American Novel”

1. I was born and raised an orphan in a land that once was free
In a land that poured its love out on the moon;
And I grew up in the shadows of your silos filled with grain
But you never helped to fill my empty spoon

2. And when I was ten you murdered law with courtroom politics
And you learned to make a lie sound just like truth;
But I know you better now and I don’t fall for all your tricks
And you’ve lost the one advantage of my youth

3. You kill a black man at midnight just for talking to your daughter
Then you make his wife your mistress and you leave her without water;
And the sheet you wear upon your face is the sheet your children sleep on
At every meal you say a prayer; you don’t believe but still you keep on

(Refrain) And your money says in God we trust
But it’s against the law to pray in school;
You say we beat the Russians to the moon
And I say you starved your children to do it

4. You are far across the ocean in a war that’s not your own
And while you’re winning theirs, you’re gonna lose the one at home;
Do you really think the only way to bring about the peace
Is to sacrifice your children and kill all your enemies?

5. The politicians all make speeches while the news men all take note
And they exaggerate the issues as they shove them down our throats;
Is it really up to them whether this country sinks or floats?
Well I wonder who would lead us if none of us would vote

(Instrumental/piano solo)

6. Well my phone is tapped and my lips are chapped from whispering through the fence
You know every move I make, or is that just coincidence?
Well you try to make my way of life a little less like jail
If I promise to make tapes and slides and send them through the mail

(Refrain) And your money says in God we trust
But it’s against the law to pray in school;
You say we beat the Russians to the moon
And I say you starved your children to do it
You say all men are equal, all men are brothers
Then why are the rich more equal than others?
Don’t ask me for the answer, I’ve only got one:
That a man leaves his darkness when he follows the Son

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