Feb 27, 2010

Inspire Me

One of my favorite songs of all time, by a little-known artist by the name of Libby Roderick. She's Alaskan, she's a folk singer, she's a bit quirky, yes... but this song is one that always makes me want to dance or run for political office or... sew my own cloth diapers or something. I love it, and I can't find the lyrics anywhere online so I'm going to write them down here from my own memory.

Inspire Me

Everybody needs someone to show them what is possible
Everybody needs someone to go as far as she can see
I need to stand upon the shoulders of giants
I need a woman who's as big as me.

When I was a little bitty baby sitting on Mama's knee
I looked around to see just what the future had in store for me
I needed to see women who were living without limits
I needed to see women making history.

So I said, give me a Woman who can climb the tallest mountain.
Give me a woman who can swim across the widest sea.
Women need women who lead lives of boldest daring.
Tell me the stories that inspire me.

Give me Amelia who went soaring 'cross the ocean
Winnie Mandella who is going to set her people free
Judy Chicago who breaks all artistic silences
These women leave a precious legacy.

When I was a young teenager reading my Seventeen,
I looked around to see just what the future had in store for me
Women in the fashion mags were too small for my dreams, I needed
to see women just as big as me.

So I said, give me a woman who can climb the tallest mountain.
Give me a woman who can swim across the widest sea.
Women need women who lead lives of boldest daring.
Tell me the stories; they inspire me.

I know of women all across the nation
leading lives of courage in the face of fear and poverty
One leaves an abusive home, one raises her five children
Women, we need a new mythology.

Now I am a grown-up woman living in society
I still look around to see just what the future holds for me
I still need women who are shooting like the comets so I can
leave my own starlight in this galaxy. And I say

Give me a woman who can climb the tallest mountain.
Give me a woman who can swim across the widest sea.
Women need women who live lives of boldest daring, why don't you
Tell me the stories, they inspire me.








(BTW I would not recommend looking up Judy Chicago's artwork online, necessarily. Though I do admire the way she's done her best to break some, ahem, silences, and I would go to see her artwork in person if I had the opportunity). :)

8 comments:

the nice one said...

i'm inspired!

Anonymous said...

we sing this song at a summer camp i go to with some slightly different lyrics. i've searched long and hard for a video or even the lyrics, but this is the first i've been able to find. thank you so much for reminding me during this winter bleakness of something i love about summer.

Anonymous said...

oh my god i was looking for that song everywhere. you are so nice for putting that up

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting this!! I have been looking everywhere for these lyrics! :D

Anonymous said...

i love this song reminds me of girl scout camp. SO AMAZING

Kittens457 said...

Thank you so much! My gs troop is going to be holding a girltopia side event at a gs camp this fall and I had no idea what the lyrics were. I remembered singing it at camp togowoods summer camp and it was always my favorite song. I can't sing a bit but would always join in to this song. Well anyway, I only remembered bits and pieces of the song and typed what I knew into YouTube, google, etc. I almost sent togowoods an email to see if they could send me the lyrics or something. Finally though, I was on iTunes and I typed in "inspire me" and listened thought all the songs until I found it. I admit I just about started crying, I'd been looking for the song for days. But when I went to google to find the lyrics I couldn't find them (started crying again (all that work for nothing!)) …until I saw this! Thank you so much! This song was so inspiring for me and since I didn't know the lyrics, I would always hum it when I was going through tough times. Thank you again, now I can sing it again!

Sarah Dunster said...

Glad you are glad.

Francesca said...

"Inspire Me" by Libby Roderick. On her album If You See a Dream [CD]. ©1990, Libby Roderick Music. Lable: Turtle Island.

The album is out of print, but used copies are available at the usual websites.

Sarah, your memory of the lyrics is excellent. In listening to the album, I hear few differences.

I hear:

"Tell me their stories"

"baby sittin' on my Mama's knee"

"too small for my dream"

"Now that I'm a grown-up woman"

Written differences are sometimes a matter of taste, such as: sittin' vs sitting. And punctuation, line breaks, and repetitions that fade out at the end.

Mandela has one "L".

The song as Libby wrote it may be in her songbook: http://www.libbyroderick.com/songbook.html