Stone Soup
by John Forster & Tom Chapin
1990 Limousine Music Co. & The Last Music Co. (ASCAP)

In a threadbare town at the end of the war
A hungry soldier knocked on a door:
"Pardon me, Madam, I need some food...
Rum dum diddle-ii food!"
"I'm sorry sir, but we are hungry too.
There's no food left
In the whole hungry village."
So the soldier marched to the center of town,
"Hear ye! Hear ye! Gather 'round!"
He picked up a stone and gave it a kiss.
"Let's make soup out of this!"
"What? Soup from a stone?"
"Sure...
All you need is what you've got,
A tasty stone and water in a pot.
Takes some time but feeds a lot.
Stone soup tonight."
"Stone soup? Stone soup?
What is this fellow, a nincompoop?"

But the kids brought stones,
Which he put in the pot.
Boiled the whole thing piping hot.
Then he hushed the crowd and, solemn-faced,
Took a rum dum diddle-ii taste.
"Oh, this is gonna be good!"
"Please, Sir, please, can we have some?"
"No, not yet. It's not quite done.
It needs a soup bone... for flavor."

A little girl who'd brought a stone
Said, "We've been saving a big hambone.
Shall I get it?"
"That'd be nice."
She was back in a trice!
The soldier smiled.
"All you need is what you've got."
He took that bone and threw it in the pot.
Some grown-ups started to see the light.
"Stone soup tonight."
Then he took a taste, took a taste:
"Oh, this is gonna be great!"
"Now, Sir, now, can we have some?"
"Not just yet. It's still not done.
It needs... a potato and... an onion."

The kids jumped up and off they tore
And brought the things that he'd asked for,
Not to mention turnip greens,
A carrot and some beans!
The smell of soup began to float
Into every nose and throat,
Calling people like a drum:
Rum dum diddle-ii "Yum!
Stone soup. Stone soup.
We want some of that tasty goop."
"No. Not yet. I'm still not through.
It needs one thing from each of you...
Whatever you can spare."

So the villagers scattered to their root cellars,
Corn cribs and secret nooks
And brought back everything
From an eggplant to a pepperoni.
And that night the whole hungry village
Feasted on soup made out of a stone!

All we need is what we've got,
A tasty stone and water in a pot.
Little things become a lot.
Tiny gifts can fill the pot
When they're shared and served up hot.
Stone soup. Stone soup.
Stone soup tonight!


This song appears on Tom Chapin's Mother Earth CD.

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