Ocean Refuses No River, The

Arranger: Unknown
Composer: Lila Flood and unknown composer(s)
Lyricist: Traditional sources

Ocean Refuses No River 20150615

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Submitter Comments

I composed “The Ocean Refuses No River” about 45 years ago.  I had recently become a student of a Sufi teacher named Yakzan Valdez, who among other things, led The Dances of Universal Peace. The Dances use sacred phrases from all traditions combined with music and movement to create an inclusive form of worship.  So “The Ocean” was originally created as one of these Dances.

The lyrics are an interesting story. The words came from Rolling Stone Magazine. I was reading a long interview with some enlightened music producer whose name I can’t remember. In the last paragraph of the interview he described how he gave his kids an assignment to go through various spiritual teachings and pull out some of their favorite sayings. One of them found the phrase “The ocean refuses No River” in some Christian writings. The last sentence of the interview was…
“The ocean refuses no river.  Isn’t that cool?”

Well, I thought it was very cool and put the words to music. I also added the Arabic words “Ishkallah ma bud lillah, which means God is Love, Lover, and Beloved.”


The ocean refuses no river, no river.
The open heart refuses no part of you, no part of me.
Ishq’ Allah mabud lillah il Allah.
Allah hu il Allah hu. Allah hu il Allah hu.
Pour upon us great love and great light.