Holding the Light

Sacred conversations build solidarity.

Words and music by Sarah Pirtle © 2013 Discovery Center Music, BMI


1. We hold the light with the courage of one.

One who reveals her truth in the light of the sun.

We hold the light with the power of two.

Two standing heart to heart saying, I believe you.



We are holding the light

We are holding the light, hold on.


2. We hold the light with a hundred and three,

Building a source that we can call the beloved community.

We hold the light with a thousand and four,

Changing the silence, this light is defiance. We open a door.



When something’s so wrong, we gotta get bigger.

With something so lost, we gotta stay found.

With something so hidden, we gotta keep speaking.

With something so stuck, gotta turn it around.


3. We hold the light with a million and five

Becoming that truth-force that will always survive.

We hold the light with a billion and ten.

We send one voice around the earth shouting never again.



We are holding the light

We are holding the light, hold on.

About This Song

In my work with Traprock Center for Peace and Justice, I wrote Keepers of the Fire: Dialogue to Change Sexism and Foster Gender Reconciliation. It is available for free at traprock.org. I also wrote Changing Violence Together which details ways to have truth-telling conversations about being in solidarity with people harmed by violence. This song was included in that booklet because it talks about how mutual support can help change the culture of violence.

This song was written for International Women’s Day in Northampton, MA in 2013. It was also sung at the Take Back the Night Rally led by NELCWIT in Turners Falls, MA on October 16, 2013. NELCWIT stands for New England Learning Center for Women in Transition, and it is located in Greenfield, MA.

The Traprock website tells about the new Respect Girls Project that I helped to start. Our work connects teens in our group called A Long Line of Women Leaders for Racial Justice with teens in Sierra Leone WILPF (Women’s International League for Peace and Justice) and with the Gage Ambassadors who are described in the song “Matilda Joslyn Gage.” The focus of Respect Girls Project is stopping gender-based violence.