The lyrics to Higgins’ song, “Grief Evergreen”

Photo by Sue Burke

In the novel Semiosis, Chapter 3 ends as Higgins says:

“I would go out to share some truffle with Pitman soon, and I would sing him a sad song about fear and hope, failure and healing, about sweet and fresh sap in leaves evergreen with grief. Maybe I could teach the pack to coo along. Music the Pax way. Cross-species communication. They never did that on Earth. Singing fippolions. Dancing fippokats. Helpful, talkative plants with a sophisticated appreciation of abstract ideas. Good times. They can happen. Wait and see.”

Here are the words to that song. Feel free to set them to music.

Grief Evergreen (Higgins’s Song)

People will die, and I knew that yesterday.

People will cry, and I know that now today.

I would have been fine just knowing that yesterday.

I didn’t want to learn I was right today.


Fresh sap in the leaves evergreen,

clean and new every season,

grief evergreen.

The ache of a soul that lived a night too long,

the one that brought sorrow and failure and wrong,

the one I saw coming. I knew all along

I couldn’t stop it. I wish I were that strong.

(Repeat chorus)

Life is a song, and time never stops breathing.

I can’t be quiet, I can’t refuse to sing.

I can’t stop sunrise, and I can’t stop the spring.

It hurts more to keep silent. I have to sing.

(Repeat chorus)

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