Peace is needed, for hope to thrive. Now, here’s a way that your voice can make a difference for peace! Looking at the news today, one thing we can agree is that we could use a little more peace… for our time. That’s the song’s name. It’s a peace song. And by lending your voice to the song, you never know how far it will carry. We invite you – songwriters, peace leaders and plain folks who want to build bridges over all sorts of divides – to join the song. Remember, never underestimate your ripple.
This month’s feature: Wishing You Peace!
Here is artist Jonny Shorr who debuted a new bridge for our song at our 2016 In Harmony with Hope award:
Working together for Peace!
Here’s the original “call to action” video. Note that the end-date has been extended, due to the positive reaction:
Peace Montage Video
Project History and Status
This project’s official launch date was 12/13/14, with the intention of building a groundswell. The song was originally presented with simple guitar and vocals – first male and then female. Our intention was to present the song in the same way a real estate agent might present a house: all the walls are neutral in color, so you can see yourself living there. By Monday, September 21, 2015, the United Nations International Day of Peace, we had received beautiful, new, recorded versions (with new verses and Russian translation) from three bands, we’d heard the song in the Hawaiian language, and we’d received a verse from a fan of the band A Moment’s Worth, from Russia! While we’re glad for the success we’ve seen with the project, we feel there’s more in store. That’s why we’ve extended the project, to an open-ended effort.
Your Creative Voices in Partnership on this Project
A Moment’s Worth
With less than one month in this effort, before the sun had set on 2014, we already had a beautiful new demo of a whole new direction for the song, courtesy of our wonderful partner band A Moment’s Worth (AMW). We loved the new direction, and it opens our imaginations to many other possibilities. And it’s also very special to us that we were given permission to post it on the exact day of the 100th anniversary of the most famous wartime truce in history, the Christmas Truce of 1914.
We used that demo as the foundation for our explanatory video, above, and they came out with a brilliant, inspiring video set to their beautiful final version of the song, as well as downloadable audio [click here] and an instrumental version for easy singing along [click here].
In January of 2015, while meeting with Kaluna Wong and Puna Kalama Dawson at Kanui Kapono school on Kaua’i Hawaii, we heard the song as it would sound in Hawaiian. In a word: beautiful! (We hope to be able to share it with you soon – you can read more about Puna Kalama Dawson on our events log page.
We asked artist Jonny Shorr to come up with a verse on bullying, and we are happy to share it with you. He also played it at our 2016 In Harmony with Hope award. You’ll find the lyrics below.
Bryan Keith and Alex Bondarev
Next up, we received a brilliant new acoustic version with The Voice’s finalist Bryan Keith, joining up with Alex Bondarev. Alex tells us he’s a good friend and was more than happy to contribute his talents. Our grateful thanks to this wonderful artist! [download sheet music for this version here].
The band Healing Stream was the first to perform the song live with an audience, in February of 2015 and again in March, adding it to their regular playlist [detail page]. The band chose the version by A Moment’s Worth, and innovated by adding a guitar solo (by band leader Kevin Morgenstern), inviting songwriter Lauren Speeth as a guest vocalist. You’ll notice our CISO Don Kane, who is a regular member of the band, on bass.
Then in mid-March, when AMW fan Hannah M submitted a lovely addition – an entirely new verse – we knew that the project had really taken wing. Here is her version, below. Her great new verse starts about 2:19…
Now just in time for the New Year, our Russian translation version – courtesy Alex Bondarev, is back:
Look how much the song has transformed, from its original version, recorded in December of 2014 and featuring Josh Workman & Kelly Madsen, duet:
Join the song!
Who will join the song next, how will you make it your own, and where will you take it? We can’t wait to find out!
As you can see, the song can go in many directions. It can take on subtle nuances when translated into another language. It can have an acoustic rock sound, or hearken back to the anthems of old. Also, there are many ways to join the song. If you’re a musician, you could sing a rendition, or add a verse that you are willing to share – see our terms and conditions of participation, below. If you are a teacher, you can consider using this song to teach peace and build bridges. If you’re putting on a peace-building event, you could play the video to open your event and set the tone. Each of us matters. We can all make ripples and add our various gifts, towards peace. As voices and verses are added to the song, the song will grow. We’ll post the growing body of results here, on this page, and we have a dedicated playlist on our youTube channel to the effort. We reserve the right not to include inflammatory verses, of course. Not a musician, you say? Fear not… your voice can still make waves! Help us spread the word. Here are some sample postings you can use, on FB or twitter…
- “Join the @Elfenworks #PeaceSong #Forourtime Learn the words (http://bit.ly/18OiSKF) and make it your own (http://bit.ly/1BT4tJI). Get creative!”
- “Wanna sing for peace? Join our #PeaceSong #forourtime (http://bit.ly/18OiSKF)! Make your own version or take this instrumental (http://bit.ly/1BT4tJI).”
- “#ForOurTime is a #PeaceSong anyone can join! Get creative (http://bit.ly/18OiSKF) & make it yours, #forourtime: (http://bit.ly/1BT4tJI). #elfenworks”
Sheet Music for Your Use
The use of the For Our Time sheet music and submission of verses is subject to these terms of participation. By participating in the Project, you agree to the Terms.
- For Our Time with New Verses! We’ve added all the new verses that have been contributed by various friends to our sheet music
- Key of C
- Key of D
- Key of G
- Key of A [A Moment’s Worth / Live version]
- click here for sing-along track from our partner band A Moment’s Worth
Basic Song Verse & Chorus Hand out stars in the night, Where there’s darkness, shine your light. Hand in hand, take a stand, for our time. “Build a bridge, dare to dream That it’s easier than it seems. Hand in hand take a stand for our time. For our time… for our time… for our time… for our time… Hand in hand take a stand for our time
Verse Addition by A Moment’s Worth: Brother, I have done you wrong When I refused to listen to your song. Sister, I have caused you many tears. Brother, I have fallen down, Sister, when you come around, I will base my life on love not fear….
Verse Addition by Kevin Morgenstern: “Got lost in my little world, Cracked the oyster missed the pearl, Time to take the blinders off and see. Gonna break out of my shell, Could be heaven, could be hell, Which will be is up to you and me.
Version by Hanna M: Pushing through all the pain, Your weapons worn and dismayed, I take your hand, help you stand, one more time. Cross the bridge, let’s move forward. Our pens are mightier than their swords. They can’t take what we’ll make for our time.
Verse Addition (on Bullying) by Jonny Shorr: “I wake up shaken by tears I’ve been pushed around for all these years But you should be to me what I’m to you Listen to the song I sing The voice I carry the love I’ll bring Reach out for my hand and pull me near
BRIDGE: There are bridges still left to mend. I can see it all in my head.
Russian Translation by Alexey Kholodnyak: Как звезда вдалеке (Like a star in the skies) Свет души твоей во тьме (Shine your soul’s light in the darkness) Руку мне протяни, в наши дни (Reach out your arms to me in our days) Мост к мечте – твой ответ (A bridge to a dream — your answer) Трудно там, где цели нет (It’s difficult where there is no hope) Руку мне протяни, в наши дни (Reach out your arms to me in our days) Скажи мне брат, я был неправ (Tell me brother, I was wrong) Не слыша песен твоих глав (Not hearing the songs of your life) Сестра, за слезы ты меня прости (Sister, forgive me for your tears) Поверьте мне друзья мои (Believe me, my friends) Быть может я сошел с пути (Maybe I had lost my way) Но жизнь свою построю на любви (But now I will build my life on love.) В наши дни.. в наши дни… (In our days)
Peace Songs in History
December 24, 2014 marked the 100th anniversary since the famed armistice that broke out during World War I, then called The Great War. In 1914, German soldiers, who were winning, began singing Silent Night. Others across the enemy lines joined in… and peace broke out. It lasted all through Christmas day. Soldiers exchanged chocolates, buttons, and other souvenirs. They smoked cigars together, and played soccer. They buried their dead. And they exchanged addresses, thinking they might write to each other, after the war ended. Of course there was one soldier who refused to participate in that transcendent moment…. a certain young man by the name of Adolf Hitler who would have none of it. Not everyone wants peace, of course. But many did. Perhaps 100,000 soldiers took part in this unexpected, grass-roots peace moment, and many of them wrote home to say it was the best Christmas they’d ever experienced. When the soldiers were finally ordered back into battle, they aimed high, so as not to kill each other that day. The commanders – thinking all this might hinder the war effort – tried for a press embargo, but there were too many joyful letters home to keep it a secret for long. The idea that war is inevitable – a form of cynicism itself – is a mind virus. You can counteract it with this powerful truth: peace can start at the grass roots, where we least expect it, and song can indeed be a catalyst.
Our Process with this Project
One of the beautiful effects of music is that it can heal. And when people work together, perceived differences can tend to fall away. Add those two together, and it’s a powerful force for peace. So that’s when we realized we’d found a chasm where we could make a positive difference. So can you, by helping the project move forward.
According to the Institute for Economics and Peace in their 2014 Global Peace Index Report, the world has been growing less peaceful since 2007. with only eleven countries in the entire world currently free from conflict1. This means freedom from conflict of all kinds, including civil strife. It means a harmonious life of peace with justice for all humanity. Peace that is in kinship with each other and the earth.
We set about to write and record the first verse, with easy sheet music, to get folks started. It is our hope that this can ignite the imaginations of other creative and artistic folks from all walks of life.In an effort to help this effort take flight, we are reaching out to religious leaders from various faiths, musicians, and educators, as well as posting about it on social media.
When folks start participating, we’ll start sharing the news through social media. You can help amplify the success of this project, by adding to the song, and by suggesting that others join in, as well. As the song grows, you might consider exploring their use at schools or other educational settings, fostering a dialog around peace.
These resources will be expanded here as they grow, and perhaps eventually also be offered on a separate web presence, as we’ve done with our Breathing Butterfly project. If you’re interested in finding other ways to make a positive ripple, we invite you to visit our ripple page for ideas.
Final note: We realize that this project may be perceived as controversial by some, because it will involve participation of people whose private viewpoints vary widely from each other. We aim to include participants from as many religious persuasions as we can persuade, atheists & agnostics, and people from all sides of active conflicts. But after all, isn’t that the point? The beauty of this project will be in the diversity of voices who join together in song, choosing peace and kinship… Hand in hand, take a stand, for our time.
1Global Peace Index 2014: Measuring Peace and Assessing Risk. Institute for Economics and Peace. Online at http://www.visionofhumanity.org/sites/default/files/2014%20Global%20Peace%20Index%20REPORT.pdf and available for download at www.economicsandpeace.org . Accessed December 3, 2014.