She’ll Know

Words and music Creative Commons License 1995 by Jim Bearden

The idea for this song came from a book by Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams, and one chapter in particular, called “The Miracle”. In it, the narrator of the story, who is 32 at the time, is remembering a pregnancy and a miscarriage that she had when she was 15. The last paragraph of the chapter, which I turned into the chorus of this song, was what convinced me to write it. This is not nearly enough room to tell the whole story, however, so I’d certainly recommend that you read the book, also.

Verse 1:
She was only fifteen, no high-school beauty queen,
And their dates didn’t last all that long.
But he left her with more than she’d ever bargained for,
And her secret grew terribly strong.

In dreams, she runs to the creek, where the water’s rushing, deep;
Rescues the baby she knows is her own.
What a miracle! But instead, she knows it’s all in her head,
For the baby she’d rescue is gone.

You might think she couldn’t love a child she never knew;
Life goes on, it’s the past, she’s let go.
But just ask her, “How old would your child be now?”
And she’ll know … she’ll know.

Verse 2:
How she dreamed in the night of escape from her plight;
How she wished that her burden was gone.
But when, one night, at last, her secret wish came to pass,
She no longer knew how she could go on.

And now she sees her in dreams, with seventeen-year-old themes,
In moonlight, glowing white, before her eyes.
And she lifts her so she won’t fall, but she hears a voice call,
“Just let go — she won’t fall — she’ll rise.”


Verse 3:
Though she felt set apart, still she knew, in her heart,
More women have lost a child than you’d know.
She may be the woman you meet, or you pass on the street,
Taking her secret grief wherever she’ll go.

But now, the new life she bears promises to lift her cares;
Though one life’s gone, another comes to take its place.
And as she moves among the stones, and the memories they’ve known,
She feels she knows what they mean by “Amazing Grace.”


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