Editor’s note: Today’s poetry post is a bit different than usual. It will take a little musical knowledge and know-how to make it work. The always talented and lyrical Regena Rafelson has come up with an original ballad to Shen Nung, that was written to the tune of Joan Baez’ “Joe Hill”. Enjoy.

I dreamed I saw Shen Nung last night,
Alive as you and me.
The father of Chinese medicine.
Said Shen, “The greatest find was tea.
The greatest find was tea.”

“That day you took in all those herbs,
poisons, Shen,” said I.
“Because of tea, you lived it through,”
Says Shen, “I didn’t die.”
Says Shen, “I didn’t die.”

And standing there, as big as life,
From four thousand years ago.
Says Shen, “Your modern lifestyle will be
The death of all you know.
The death of all you know.”

“In India, China, and Japan
Grows the secret to great wealth.
Where tiny farms grow tea all year
That’s the secret to good health.
Tea’s the secret to good health.”

I dreamed I saw Shen Nung last night,
Alive as you and me.
The father of Chinese medicine.
Said Shen, “The greatest find was tea.
The greatest find was tea.”

For those of you who are interested, I have copied the lyrics to the original “Joe Hill” song below:

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
alive as you and me.
Says I “But Joe, you’re ten years dead”
“I never died” said he,
“I never died” said he.

“The Copper Bosses killed you Joe,
they shot you Joe” says I.
“Takes more than guns to kill a man”
Says Joe “I didn’t die”
Says Joe “I didn’t die”

And standing there as big as life
and smiling with his eyes.
Says Joe “What they can never kill
went on to organize,
went on to organize”

From San Diego up to Maine,
in every mine and mill,
where working-men defend their rights,
it’s there you find Joe Hill,
it’s there you find Joe Hill!

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
alive as you and me.
Says I “But Joe, you’re ten years dead”
“I never died” said he,
“I never died” said he.