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Solar Roadways and "The River Flows On"

In June of 2014 we were on tour in Southern Indiana. Over the years, Sue and I had cultivated friends and fans between the towns of Ferdinand, Evansville, and New Harmony. We always looked forward to traveling through this beautiful part of the country. After a concert at a winery near Tell City some kind folks offered us to stay for a couple days at their cabin over looking the Ohio River.

The following day we had to ourselves to relax and catch up on “office” work. It was then I came across the Solar Roadways Indiegogo campaign and the Solar Freakin’ Roadways video. I must have watched the video a half dozen times all the while sharing it with people on Facebook. As I was doing this I noticed, on the Ohio River there were barges, one after the other, all heaped with coal, making their way down the river.

On one hand was an exciting vision of clean energy potential - and on the other hand was the old, dirty, and unsustainable energy model. Perfectly placed between the past and the future, I grabbed my guitar and notebook and wrote “River Flows On.”

I was grateful for the opportunity to write a song with a positive message, and it’s still a current part of our set list. I enjoy the opportunity to tell folks about Solar Roadways and we love hearing folks sing along the chorus…. “and the river flows on, a change is coming now.”

River Flows On

Coming round the bend of the lazy blue Ohio

A big long barge is making its way down

It’s heavy with coal, and it sinks into the current

Gonna keep the lights on in this town

Late last night I saw the smoke dissolve into the moonlight

And wilted like the petals of a flower

That pale disk reflected on the surface of the water

And the coal kept coming steady as the hour

The river flows on

A change is coming

The river flows on

A change is coming now

Feel the sun a-shining – it’s a crown upon the forest

Upon the greening leaves awake, awake

It is a massive engine building muscle in its branches

With every breath of carbon that it takes

There’s all this freedom here right beneath our noses

There’s sunlight flowing freely from the sky

All this freedom waiting here held captive by our choices

Adapt to the conditions or we die

All these forlorn factories of yesterday’s abundance

Possess a certain beauty in their ruin

Gravity will pull them down until you will not see them

Until the sunlight lifts another bloom

Here we are riding on this tiny blue marble

Careening through space and emptiness

Here we are sitting on a bend on above this river

In the bosom of this place lest we forget

Song by Dana Robinson

Inspired by Solar Roadways

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