Sunday, February 19, 2017

words and wishes

post #324
       First, a photo of our biggest snow....some cold times but no real snow times here in Eastern Kentucky, and only one snow day for the schools. (I meant to post this last week.)

         The main item to share this week is news from a college roommate/close friend who lives in Massachusetts and who has been part of a women's choral group for years. I then share some fairly recent photos of mine which speak to me in connection to the song:

          ....In chorus, we are now preparing for our annual contest in May... which is a bit stressful, although I really love the experience.  We did have a special performance for the other choruses in our region a few weeks ago that I'd thought I'd share. We were asked to be part of the Saturday night show.  Normally, we would sing a standard set of our acapella music ... but this year the director wanted to make a statement about the chaos and negativity that is so much a part of the news and everything going on. We taught the audience (about 500) Dona Nobis Pacem (which most of them actually knew, but they were delighted to sing it together with us ... with renewed feeling), and followed it by "Light One Candle" by Peter Yarrow.  We turned out the lights in the auditorium on this one and started with one voice and one candle, then two more, then 4 more (this is where I joined), then chunks of the chorus, each with a candle (all battery operated not real, but they looked real).  In the last chorus of the song, about 20 or so chorus members came down off the risers with their candles and handed them to members of the audience. I couldn't believe the responses from the listeners -- the tears -- the notes -- and the personal comments. Probably one of the most satisfying things we've done. 

Wow, thanks, Beth, for sharing this story about the power of art. I know you rarely ever write, so receiving your email [recently] was already a treat. Then I loved imagining your choral experience. Despite my being a Peter, Paul and Mary fan, I have to confess that I not really familiar with the song you sang, with candles, so I am including the lyrics next on today's post. I would have been a puddle if I'd had the opportunity to be in your audience that day. Even watching this YouTube (despite the opening ad) did me in.

Light one candle for the Maccabee children
With thanks their light didn't die;
Light one candle for the pain they endured
When their right to exist was denied;
Light one candle for the terrible sacrifice
Justice and freedom demand;
And light one candle for the wisdom to know
That the peacemaker's time is at hand!

Don't let the light go out,
It's lasted for so many years!
Don't let the light go out!
Let it shine through our love and our tears!

Light one candle for the strength that we need
To never become our own foe;
Light one candle for those who are suff'ring
A pain they learned so long ago;
Light one candle for all we believe in,
That anger not tear us apart;
And light one candle to bind us together
With peace as the song in our heart!


What is the memory that's valued so highly
That we keep it alive in that flame?
What's the commitment to those who have died?
We cry out "they've not died in vain,"
We have come this far, always believing
That justice will somehow prevail;
This is the burden, This is the promise,
This is why we will not fail!


Don't let the light go out!
Don't let the light go out!
Don't let the light go out! 

cardinal flower, at the pond, a favorite photo of mine

Mother Jones, who fought tirelessly for the West Virginia coal miners

singing a beloved song from the sixties with other Appalachian Volunteers at a recent gathering

Not one of my photos, but I feel it directly expresses why we do speak out for freedom and justice

and for community where each person can find support.


  1. I really like the sunset photo. And also your roommate's story about her chorus concert. Keep it coming!

  2. Also I forgot to ask - what is the red bloom?

  3. Ditto all Steve said (apparently he has good taste!). I also love the tall tall trees and the cardinal flower!