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By The Spark & Echo Band Jeremiah 12:5–17

The bassoon plays a strong supporting role in this setting of Jeremiah 12:5-17 by The Spark & Echo Band. In the text, God speaks strongly of his sadness and frustration.


Has not my inheritance become to me like a lion in the woods?
She roars at me I hate her.
Has not my inheritance become to me like a speckled bird of prey,
That other birds surround and attack?

Go gather all the wild beasts, bring them to devour
Many shepherds will ruin my fields 
They’ll turn my pleasant vineyards in to trash.

If you race with men on foot and they have worn you out
Then how can you compete with a horse?
If you stumble in the safeland how are you gonna manage in the thicket
When ev’ry thing is desolate and dry?

Your brothers, your brothers, your own famly
Even they’ve betrayed you.
Do not trust them, they’re the ones I love

For they will sow wheat but reap thorns.
They will wear out but gain nothing, yeah well,
Over the barren land
The sword will devour,
Because nobody cares

So bear the shame of your harvest
Because of the Lord’s angry mouth.

Jonathon Roberts
Jonathon Roberts, piano/vocal; Emily Clare Zempel, bassoon/voice; Alexander Foote, percussion; Jay Foote, bass
Alexander Foote
Christopher Colbert
Artist Location
Bronx, New York


Jeremiah 12:5–17

5 ¶ If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee , then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan? 6 For even thy brethren, and the house of thy father, even they have dealt treacherously with thee; yea, they have called a multitude after thee: believe them not, though they speak fair words unto thee.

7 ¶ I have forsaken mine house, I have left mine heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies. 8 Mine heritage is unto me as a lion in the forest; it crieth out against me: therefore have I hated it. 9 Mine heritage is unto me as a speckled bird, the birds round about are against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour. 10 Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. 11 They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart. 12 The spoilers are come upon all high places through the wilderness: for the sword of the LORD shall devour from the one end of the land even to the other end of the land: no flesh shall have peace. 13 They have sown wheat, but shall reap thorns: they have put themselves to pain, but shall not profit: and they shall be ashamed of your revenues because of the fierce anger of the LORD .

14 ¶ Thus saith the LORD against all mine evil neighbours, that touch the inheritance which I have caused my people Israel to inherit; Behold, I will pluck them out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah from among them. 15 And it shall come to pass, after that I have plucked them out I will return, and have compassion on them, and will bring them again, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land. 16 And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, The LORD liveth; as they taught my people to swear by Baal; then shall they be built in the midst of my people. 17 But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, saith the LORD .

The Spark & Echo Band

The Spark & Echo Band

From the Artist

“Has not my inheritance become to me like a lion in the forest? She roars at me, therefore I hate her.” After the Prophet Jeremiah boldly files a complaint with God in the beginning of Jeremiah about the condition of Judah, God replies with stern words of discipline. God uses vivid illustration to illuminate his sadness and frustration with the people he loves. This response is set to music in the song, "Inheritance".

The final line of song, “Bear the shame of your harvest, because of the Lord’s angry mouth,” touches on the thought from this passage that while the words from the Lord’s “mouth” are angry, in his heart there is deep love for those he is pursuing.

-Jonathon Roberts

*This song is the track of The Spark+Echo Band's 2012 album.


The Spark & Echo Band is a family outfit of songwriting-storytellers led by husband and wife duo Jonathon Roberts and Emily Clare Zempel. Their music brings forgotten poetry and wild stories from the Bible to life: visions of sparkling wheels in the sky, hunger and thirst, and legends of love as strong as death weave with memorable melodies and captivating rhythms. Drawing from a classical background, influenced by the pianism of Rufus Wainwright and Ben Folds, and emulating Paul Simon’s narratival techniques, Spark & Echo sings epic tales of love and adventure.

The duo has collaborated on three full lengths albums (Spark&Echo, Inheritance, Cities Project), one video album (In the Clocktower), in addition to many theatrical collaborations, this very nonprofit, and two children. They live in beautiful Beacon, New York, with all of the above.


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