There is a Song
Honoring the unique spirit of each person.
Words and music by Rev Dr. Andrea Ayvazian, © 2006, Turtle Pond Music on “Oh, Bless This Day.”
There is a song and it’s inside you.
And I sing it when you’re near.
That song is yours alone
and every note is lovely and it’s clear.
And they say a friend is someone
who will learn your song it’s true.
When you’re frightened or you’re weary,
I will sing your song to you.
Bridge lyrics and melody by Sarah Pirtle:
Here I am, and I’m beside you.
Here I am, loving you strong.
I will sing your song to guide you.
May your song give you the strength to carry on.
Production: Engineered by Scott Sibley, Rainbow Sounds Studio. Guitar and vocals – Sarah Pirtle, violin – Eveline MacDougall.
About This Song
What would it feel like to have a song created for you by your mother before you were born and sung to you by your community throughout your life as a life-long anchor?
I used this song in a particular way when I taught music for the Creative Arts in Learning graduate school program at Lesley University. Assembling slips of paper with the name of each student in the class, I asked everyone to chose the name of someone else and keep it secret. The assignment was to select a piece of music that felt like this person. During the last class we heard the musical selections and guessed who they represented.
I'm sharing this essay which inspired Andrea's songwriting. At the same time I need to acknowledge that I feel a bit uneasy because the essay has a ring of being written by a European American person interpreting the culture.
For this reason, I want to add more information about these First Peoples. "The Bushmen's distant relatives left Africa and set in motion the family tree of humankind," says a National Geographic geneticist. Here is a documentary that conveys how the Bushmen are being moved off of their traditional lands and how one man shared his music in testimony. This youtube called, "Last Song of a Kalahari Bushman," honors the people accurately. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfUHQ2kCg1U
It is said that the Namibian Bushmen have this practice. When a woman knows she is pregnant, she goes into the wilderness with a few friends and together they pray and meditate until they hear the song of the child.
They recognize that every soul has its own vibration that expresses its unique flavor and purpose. When the women attune to the song, they sing it out loud. Then they return to the tribe and teach it to everyone else.
When the child is born, the community gathers and sings the child’s song to him or her. Later, when the child enters education, the village gathers and chants the child’s song. When the child passes through the initiation into adulthood, people again come together and sing. At the time of marriage, the person hears her or his song.
Finally, when the soul is about to pass from this world, the family and friends gather at the person’s bed, just as they did at their birth, and they sing the person to the next life.
In this tribe, there is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, the individual is called to the center of the village and the people in the community form a circle around them. Then they sing their song to them. The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity.
When you recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another.
A friend is someone who knows your songs and sings it to you when you have forgotten it.