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.
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)