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African Sunrise


Am D7 G African sunrise, shine on a brand new day. Am D7 G African sunrise, shine on a brand new way. Am D Give us a beautiful morning, Am7 D7 G - Em Show us forever beginning to stand on our own. Am D7 G African sunrise, smile on my African home. Am D7 G In this hour of quiet contemplation, Am D7 G The stillness of the dawning calms my mind. Am D7 G I face the day with heartfelt exaltation. Am D7 G The light is both a promise and a sign.

In the darkness, we have lost the son of our sister,
Though the beauty of his spirit lingers still.
This was a child of love, a child of laughter.
Who cannot understand the way that I feel.


C D7 G Is it not the sun that gives the seasons? C D7 G Is it not the sun that brings the rain? Am7 D7 G Our throats are choked with dust, but we're still singing; F D/F# - D7 Our song will not be silenced by the pain.

All around the village I can hear the roosters crowing.
There was a time it was like music to my ears.
Now all I can hear is the sound of hungry babies crying.
I pray for rain to wash away their tears.

African sunrise, light of a brand new day.
African sunrise, light of a brand new way.
With one who will be our brother,
And one who will be our partner and teach us to know.

        Am       D7                  G - Em
African sunrise, smile on my African home.
        Am       D7                  G
African sunrise, smile on my African home.
        Am      D7   G
African sunrise.

(Words and music by John Denver, 1985)

Notes: The chords are based on a 1987 live recording from Windstar Symposium. You can find an mp3 file of the recording here. John himself played the above chords in the live recording, but it's also fine to play the bridge part this way:

[F]Is it not the sun that gives the [G]seasons?
[F]Is it not the sun that brings the [G]rain?
Our [F]throats are choked with dust, but we're still [G]singing;
Our [F]song will not be silenced by the [D/F#]pain.


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