Keep Holding the Light

Words by Sarah Pirtle and Kit Stinson, music by Sarah Pirtle, ©2018, Discovery Center Music. Please use freely.


This light we are shining,

this is everyone's light.

This light we are sharing

keeps our souls shining bright.

If you feel you can't go on,

I'll sing back to you your song.



Keep holding the light.

Keep holding the light.

Production: In the background you'll hear the sound of water at Salmon Falls in Shelburne Falls – Sophia Maravell and I sang the song there near the waterfall.

The Story of the Song

Salmon Falls is the spot where the Pocumtuck people for hundreds of years came to catch salmon and shad with nets. What is now called the Deerfield River was originally called the Pocumtuck, which means shallow, sandy river. This spot is the place of a peace treaty among First Nations people to share salmon, and by this agreement peace was extended within a one day's walk from this waterfall in Western MA.

Kit Stinson and I met in junior high and all through school and in senior high we shared a love of poetry and folk music. We performed a hootenanny at our local library and during the civil rights movement stood on that library lawn with our Unitarian Church minister Rev. Jacob Trapp to protest the death of James Reeb – the first demonstration in our town. This song is a wonderful extension of our long friendship. When we were in ninth grade at Rowe Camp, we once diagrammed the meaning of life.

Sophia Maravell had the idea of one person holding steady while repeating the refrain as the other singer brings in the verse. As Kit suggests, you can try adding more and more people to the refrain so we're all holding the light together with our voices.