Alongside Babylon's rivers we sat on the banks; we cried and cried, remembering the good old days in Zion.
Alongside the quaking aspens we stacked our unplayed harps;
That's where our captors demanded songs, sarcastic and mocking: "Sing us a happy Zion song!"
Oh, how could we ever sing God's song in this wasteland?
If I ever forget you, Jerusalem, let my fingers wither and fall off like leaves.
Let my tongue swell and turn black if I fail to remember you, If I fail, O dear Jerusalem, to honor you as my greatest.
God, remember those Edomites, and remember the ruin of Jerusalem, That day they yelled out, "Wreck it, smash it to bits!"
And you, Babylonians - ravagers! A reward to whoever gets back at you for all you've done to us;
Yes, a reward to the one who grabs your babies and smashes their heads on the rocks!
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)