2013 Colo. floods inspire song about devastation and rebirth

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Planet Bluegrass Ranch after floodingWhen Fort Collins singer and songwriter Justin Roth saw images of the flooding last year, he pondered the desperation of the people who were impacted, sat down, and wrote the song “Rise.”

The lyrics, in part, center around the feelings of helplessness that those on the outside looking in may have experienced.

Roth was particularly struck by images of Planet Bluegrass Ranch, a music festival venue in Lyons where he’s played for years. The area, which he calls “a small slice of paradise,” was submerged under several feet of water.

Roth, who is donating all of the proceeds from “Rise” to the Lyons Community Foundation, spoke with Ryan Warner.

Click here to find out how buy the CD. Proceeds go to the Lyons Community Foundation.

"Rise" by Justin Roth

September 12th, 2am
Rain's been coming down for days and the river's risin'
Sirens call, gotta get out of town

A friend and his wife, his old guitar
They grabbed what they could, threw it in the car
The road was washing out up the canyon

It's a state of mind to help those that you love
Seeing all that river ripped apart, push came to shove
Time's running out...run

He said, "Some of the neighbors, stubborn as a mule
Gonna ride it out, up on the butte
but there's no getting 'round, the highway's gone"

Like nothing they've ever seen before, cars floating by
The river ran down main street, they didn't get far
It took so much not to give up anymore

So they waited for the chinooks up on higher ground
at daybreak, airlifted over what's left of the town

It feels so helpless on the outside looking in
Like watching a surgeon recklessly cutting in
To someone you love

Now the water's fanning out across the flood plain
River's changing course through farms and open range
This land may never ever be the same
But sister and brother, we will lift up one another
Whatever it takes to rise once again