Cedars by Andrew McKnight

by Sister Julie Ann on November 1, 2008

amck_goldfields_5inch.jpgDuring this harvest month seasoned with a spirit of giving thanks to God for family, friends and the goodness of creation, the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity are pleased to share the music of Andrew McKnight, a masterful acoustic musician and vocalist whose creative skills as a song/lyric writer are equally awe-inspiring. Since permanently leaving his corporate environmental engineering career in 1996, the award-winning folk and American singer/songwriter and Falling Mountain recording artist’s musical journey has traced nearly half a million miles of blue highways and small towns nationwide, and earned him a wealth of critical acclaim.

“Cedars” is a lament for every generation that reaches the age and awareness that you can truly never go “home” again, for you will find the place forever changed from your memories. Here in rapidly suburbanized northern Virginia, one doesn’t have to wander too far from my home amongst the ghosts of American history at the foot of the Blue Ridge to find seemingly endless patchworks of homogenized cul-de-sac enclosures neighborhoods of three quarter million dollar homes, whose occupants know little of their dependence on the land or the stories buried in their backyards. Here, the transition of land from a family farm to a city in the fields is usually marked by a few fallow years when the fast growing cedar trees begin their doomed attempt to regenerate forest.

1050.jpg“Cedars” comes from my latest CD, “Something Worth Standing For”, an album of songs both celebrating and acknowledging the childhood ideals of America that were taught to love, and our frustrations at how much we have let them erode. Choosing to transcend political viewpoints in favor of finding the common ground that politicians, corporations and the media seem to want us to forget that we share, it is an American album born of these times we are living in.

All five of my CDs are available at iTunes, at CDBaby.com and at our record label’s Falling Mountain Music. 

Website: http://www.andrewmcknight.net

-Andrew McKnight

Cedars Lyrics:

Verse 1

The unmarked blacktop winds back in time,

remembered ways I’ve known and left behind

the signs have changed but the way is clear

it’s been so long since I’ve been here

Memories point past that sycamore tree

make a left where the Miller’s red barn used to be

the gravel gently gives beneath my wheel

and I remember how it feels


A rusted tractor rests among the cedar trees

a pause between the past and what’s to be

ten thousand houses don’t leave any space

this was home, when this was a different place

Verse 2

These windows watched three generations grow old

silent statue stands to times long ago

when they say you can’t go home again,

I know what they mean

I still see those fields of green

Verse 3

Now open red clay wounds weep every time it rains

castles grow instead of acres of grain

I wonder if those kids will know where food comes from

and if someday they’ll ask where we have gone                                 

“Cedars”Words & music by Andrew McKnight, 2007©Catalooch Music, BMI(from the 2008 CD “Something Worth Standing For”, Falling Mountain FM-1050) 

60 thoughts on “Cedars by Andrew McKnight”

  1. John says:

    The song is very good. It sounds like a country song. It tells about the old days and the way they used to be.

  2. Mike says:

    It is very relaxing and peaceful. Great song for singing to God.

  3. Thanks, Mike, John, Megan, Kate, Lauren and Steph for your comments. All of you were very affirming of the message of ‘Cedars’.

    Your reflections and Andrew McKnight’s music reminded me of the young woman who “silenced the world at the United Nations”. This address offers an environmental context for listening to ‘Cedars’ one more time.Click below.


  4. Holly Nickel says:

    Sr. Ann Marie- you were very right about this song. I do love it and it does remind me a lot about home and what things are going to be like for me. I feel like I’m excited and scared at the same time to know that I’m going to be graduated in 3ish weeks and will be heading back to California. I know that even though it hasn’t been that long that I have been away certain things will be different.

  5. Holly,

    Congratulations on your upcoming graduation!

    You will certainly go back to CA a different person than you left… and that will be a gift to those to whom you will return.

    I encourage you to watch for gifts that will emerge within you that will be a blessing to others. God is full of those kinds of “happenings.”

    I hope you will continue to keep in touch with all of us on the blog. Sounds like you have a beautiful reflective spirit.

  6. Starting in 2000, cities across the U.S. launched Earth Charter Community Summits. The city of Manitowoc has done its part to become a sustainable community-healthy and whole. This sounds like a Franciscanized World where green cedars and all of creation are held sacred.


  7. Austin Rodriguez :) says:

    I love the way that this song refers to how the world is changing. How we are becomming more modernized and not appreciate nature anymore. This song makes me want to see the world in a new glorious light.

  8. well i like this song because it is saying that even though people tell you to do some things that are of the world, this song is telling you cherish where you came from and be the great christian that you are.

  9. Eduardo Moreno says:

    This is a great song that talks about changes in life. I am currently going through various irreversible changes that I have to live with and from which I will learn a lot. Great song, with meaningful lyrics.

  10. Austin, may you see our world this Thanksgiving in a new and glorious light!

    Continue to cherish where you came from, Roderick!

    As you face your own irreversible changes, know you are supported by many others throughout the world, Eduardo.

    Thanks for all the motivational musings! I’ll see Sister Jan on Saturday and will personally thank her for introducing you to the Franciscanized World page. We hope to hear from you again.

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