Our country is broken, divided, hurting. Some would say we are having "growing pains" and others would describe it as birthing pains. Any way we can describe it, yesterday, 11.9, felt oddly similar to 9.11. Whatever your thoughts, feelings, and political affiliations, we can all certainly admit how fractured our country feels. I recently posted this on my facebook account:
I. Can. Choose. I can choose to be offended by others who have different beliefs, opinions, political parties, and values. I choose faith, even when my faith in my fellow Americans, and in humanity, is at an all time low. I choose love, kindness, and the strength to speak out against bigotry, hatred, and devaluation. I choose to get on my knees and pray for all of us; red, blue, green and all in between. I choose to advocate for the millions of orphans in the world who are lonely and in need of families. I choose to celebrate our freedoms and not live in fear. I choose God, and the one nation under it. I choose to stand up and speak out. I choose. Do you?
You may agree, you may disagree. It's OK, we can agree to disagree and to move forward. The song, Give Light, calls us to come together, to love one another, to teach peace and to give light to one another so "people will find the way". It has become a powerful illustration of just what can happen with a little light overcoming a whole lot of darkness. It is not political, but the words were inspired by a fellow North Carolina freedom fighter named Ella Baker.
When I found the song, I decided to send an email to the group that had recorded it (found them on youtube). They were incredibly kind and told me story after story about how the song had been used by individuals all over the world fighting for personal and political freedoms. The song here is presented with permission, c. 1996, words and music by Greg Artzner & Terry Leonino.
The final verse we changed after Greg shared a story with me about a widow wanting to use the song at her husbands funeral. He was an organ donor, and so the final verse is "give life".
We are singing it a capella to begin, then adding guitar. We also added motions for each verse.
My students BEG to sing this and it will be a song I will use often, especially in the darkness, when a little light is needed.
If you would like a better copy, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
And here is a group of fourth grade students singing Give Light.