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What Happened on the Hill

          Storyteller

Dateline: Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Summer of 1981.

Unusual events are reported in the rural parish of Medjugorje. The people of Medjugorje work long hours to wrestle a living from their rocky soil. In freezing winters and blazing-hot summers. They consider themselves Croatians, but they have lived for centuries under the domination of one foreign power after another. The people of Medjugorje are not fools - they can't afford to be. However on June 24, two schoolgirls return from their evening walk babbling hysterically. They insist they have seen a beautiful, blue-eyed woman floating in mid-air over one of the local hills. So what are the practical people of Medjugorje to think?

          Chorus

Gossiping, joking
Secretly smoking
Two kids with an hour to kill.
Suddenly yelling
Running and telling
The biggest whopper ever told!
What is wrong with these brats?
They’ve been watching too much TV
And that’s what happened on the hill!

          Storyteller

The people of Medjugorje are traditionally Roman Catholic, but in 1981 the Communist government frowns on the practice of religion and has closed the parochial schools. So it is all the more remarkable when six of the local teenagers put down footballs and lipsticks, and take their rosaries to the hill the next evening. The six return with a story more shocking than yesterday's. They say they have met the floating lady and she is the Gospa, the holy mother of Jesus!

          Chorus

What are they thinking?
Maybe they’re drinking
Or popping some new kind of pill.
Is it obsession
Is it possession
That sends them up the rocks to pray
With the snakes and the bats?
Have they sighted a UFO?
Yes, that’s what happened on the hill!

          Storyteller

Though they are mocked by their friends and neighbors, the six visionaries refuse to take back their story. The Blessed Mother spoke, they insist. "Go in Peace," she said. "Live with God."

          Visionaries

Zdravo Marijo, milosti puna
Gospodin s tobom…
Blagoslovljena ti medju zenama
i blagoslovljen plod utrobe tvoje, Isus, Isus.

          Chorus

Why should the Mother of God appear
Why should the Queen of Heaven speak
To such a motley crew?
Some are none too bright, I hear,
Some were not at Mass last week.
They’re no better than me or you,
No, on the whole they’re very ordinary.

          Storyteller

News of the Medjugorje events spreads quickly throughout Yugoslavia. Each time the visionaries return to meet the Gospa, they are joined by an ever-larger crowd.

          Chorus

Now there’s a thousand
Herded like cows, and
A thousand more joining them still.
This is outrageous!
Something contagious
Was put into the village well.
Oh, those tricky Croats!
This is how revolutions start!
And that’s what happened on the hill.

          Visionaries

Sveta Marijo, Majko Bozja,
moli za nas greznike sada
i na cas smrti naze. Amen.

          Chorus

Listen, they’re singing!
Look at them bringing
The lame and the blind and the ill!
Some say they’re cured and
Some reassured and
Amazing lights are seen on high!
The scent of rose now fills the air
The sun makes circles in the sky
Over Mount Krizevac!
It makes you wonder after all
And that’s what happened on the hill.