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Posts Tagged ‘Benjamin Hawkins’

The Good Lord Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise

Ruby, one of my readers,  brought this phrase to my attention and it just so happens that recently I saw it on the cover of a CD in Starbucks.  So when something as obscure as this turns up twice in one week I figure it should be in the blog!

pariah dogs, Little Big Town, Creek, Muscogee Indian tribe

God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise

If someone says, “God willing and the Creek don’t rise” they’re looking to achieve a goal. When they use this phrase, it means that they will achieve their goal as long as there are no outside forces of which they have no control preventing them from doing just that.

Well it turns out that if your first impression was that the phrase is referring to a creek as in body of water – we’re wrong! This phrase first appeared in print in a letter written by Benjamin Hawkins in the late 18th Century.  Hawkins was a politician in the 18th and early 19th Centuries and an Indian diplomat.  This was a time when American Indians and white settlers were in constant battle over land in the United States.  Hawkins was in the South when he was requested to return to Washington DC by the President.  He wrote back. “God willing and the Creek don’t rise”. He capitalized the word Creek and it has been deduced that he was referring to the Indian tribe.  The Creek Indians also known as Muscogee tribe was located in the South East, where Hawkins had been located as well.  The possibility of an Indian uprising was great.

This figure of speech is still in use today and is a lyric in a 2008 song by the country music group, Little Big Town and the song is The Good Lord Willing and the lyrics are Good Lord and not God.

So there you have it and this blog will get published and go out to hundreds of readers, the good Lord willing and the creek don’ t rise!!!


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