Lay Down Your Weary Burden

The resilience of the earth.

Words and music by Sarah Pirtle © 2000, Discovery Center Music, BMI


Lay down your weary burden for life it is returning.
Lay down your weary burden. Open your heart and sing.


We are the wheat fields.
We are the corn and grain increasing.
We are the grapevines.
We are the pulse that’s never ceasing.   




We are the strong wings.
We are the wind that sweeps the greeting.
We are the dancers.
We are the dance so fast and fleeting. 




We are the salt spray.
We are the wave that keeps repeating.
We are the dreamers.
We are the dream that’s never ceasing.

Production: Engineered by Shaker at Touchstone Farm on my first recording of songs
for adults called Green Flame. Oboe performed by Camille White.

Story of the Song

I was working at Traprock Center for Peace and Justice in 1981 and focusing on my job editing “Facing the Facts,” a set of flip charts with extensive facts about the nuclear industry. I had been praying every day for a year that I could do something to help prevent nuclear war, and I was working 14 hour days to get the project completed. I was overcome by despair one day. I left the office and walked out in the fields of Woolman Hill where Traprock was located. This was the land where the First Nations people, the Pocumtucks had lived, and I was aware of the name of the last shaman -- a woman named Mashalisque. As I walked through the brown reeds of November with the bare bones of the trees all around, a resilience arose from the land and I felt lifted.