Rosanne Cash Releases Powerful New Single “The Killing Fields”

Rosanne Cash releases powerful new single, “The Killing Fields,” a reckoning with the dark legacy of southern lynchings.

Four-time GRAMMY-winning singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash has released “The Killing Fields,” a powerful new song that reckons with the dark legacy of lynchings in the South. A limited-edition 7” vinyl release out April 9 will pair “The Killing Fields” with  “Crawl Into The Promised Land,” an ode to the resilience of the human spirit that Cash released this past Fall in the frenetic lead-up to the 2020 U.S. election. Proceeds from the 7” will be donated to the Arkansas Peace & Justice Memorial Movement, an educational online memorial to commemorate the victims of lynchings in the State of Arkansas in collaboration with the Equal Justice Initiative and Coming To The Table. Signed copies of the 7” vinyl are available exclusively at the Rosanne Cash Store.

“A few years of my own personal reckoning with painful issues of race, racism, privilege, reconciliation, and individual responsibility led up to the moment in the summer of 2020, when finally no one could avert their eyes from the truth of white privilege in America, and the damage and sorrow caused by systemic racism. I wrote ‘The Killing Fields’ in that summer,” explains Cash. “All that came before us is not who we are now.”

The Killing Fields – Lyrics

You crossed on Brooklyn Ferry

not a boy, but not a man

left behind the Navy Yard

and your father’s mislaid plans

I was at the other ocean

and I could not get away

from the flurry of emergencies

every single day

There was cotton on the killing fields

it blows down through the years

sticks to me just like a burn

fills my eyes and ears

all that came before me

is not everything I am

a girl who settled far too low

on religion and that man

The low ebb of the rocky soil

the high tide of the trees

the dust of men and thunderstorms

the parched and rolling sea

he’s running through the killing fields

just like a hunted deer

impartial moon, uncaring stars

he falls where no one hears

The blood that runs on cypress trees

cannot be washed away

by mothers’ tears and gasoline

and secrets un-betrayed

I know it’s hard to hear these words

they sure are hard to say

but listen to the mockingbird

who sings over their graves

The ripple of the life unlived

the ghosts of mice and men

the empty space of one man’s heart

and what he might have been

but Saint Margaret, she looks over us

Saint Margaret and her kin

at the far edge of the killing fields

she stands there now and then

So goodbye to your Navy Yard

goodbye to my sea

a truce between the east and west

and my Southern history

goodbye to the killing fields

I’ll break every single bow

all that came before you

all that came before me

all that came before us

is not who we are now

Click to listen to “The Killing Fields”

For more information on Rosanne Cash, visit her Artist Page