Songs of JEFC: “Swimming to the Other Side,” by Pat Humphries

Journey's End Farm Camp 2015

It’s hard to imagine a summer at JEFC without group singing. It’s such an important part of our program yet it can be easily glossed over when we are describing our camp to prospective campers. Maybe that’s because singing feels as elemental as the birds or our babbling creeks. Or maybe that’s because we’re not a “music” camp. Although, many JEFC alumni, including myself, have made music a huge part of their lives through becoming professional musicians or simply learning the ukulele.

The power of group singing is that everyone can take part, no previous experience required. And most campers do. By the end of a two week session, everyone is singing along to their favorite songs. We sing well-known folk tunes like “This Land is Your Land,” contemporary folk songs like “Give Yourself to Love,” and camp originals like “A Trip to Mr. Z’s.” Some of our songs are just plain fun to sing but others are an effective way to share our values of peace, friendship, and care for the earth.

“Swimming to the Other Side,” by Pat Humphries falls into the second category and gets requested by campers over and over again. Not only is the melody catchy but the lyrics really express a powerful message.

Take a listen and sing along if you like. Full lyrics are below.


We are living ‘neath the great big dipper
We are washed by the very same rain
We are swimming in this stream together
Some in power and some in pain
We can worship this ground we walk on
Cherishing the beings that we live beside
Loving spirits will live forever
We’re all swimming to the other side

I am alone and I am searching
Hungering for answers in my time
I am balanced at the brink of wisdom
I’m impatient to receive a sign
I move forward with my senses open
Imperfection, it be my crime
In humility I will listen
We’re all swimming to the other side


On this journey through thoughts and feelings
Binding intuition, my head, my heart
I am gathering the tools together
I’m preparing to do my part
All of those who have come before me
Band together and be my guide
Loving lessons that I will follow
We’re all swimming to the other side


When we get there, we’ll discover
All of the gifts we’ve been given to share
Have been with us since life’s beginning
And we never noticed they were there
We can balance at the brink of wisdom
Never recognizing that we’ve arrived
Loving spirits will live together
We’re all swimming to the other side