peace - in public!
I've been getting some requests for the "Peace in Public" song that I sang at the Mennonite Church Canada Assembly last week in Calgary... a tongue-in-cheek look at the "Peace in the Public Square/1000 Acts of Peace" initiative from a rather different perspective... it's not often that a song dripping in irony becomes a "congregational song" (and, in fact, I wouldn't recommend it...!), but by the end (and once people had "caught" the tone) people were certainly singing along with the refrain...
The last verse was jotted down during the session on the morning of the "Live For Peace" report... based on one of the more amazing stories that we heard... Follow the links in the text for more on the specific references...
Peace - in Public!
(words and music by Bryan Moyer Suderman, © 2010 SmallTall Music)
1. I don't know if you've heard - if not, it falls to me
To warn you of the latest threat to our security
There's a group of people, once "the quiet in the land,"
Now they're speaking out in public, and getting out of hand...
It's peace - in public! - and it's breaking out all over
You'd better watch your back, keep looking over your shoulder
You never can be sure, these folks are only getting bolder
It's peace - in public! - and it's breaking out all over.
2. Riding on the C-train, you'd think I'd be OK
Minding my own business, in nobody's way
I validate my ticket, and headed for the back
And then I saw a little sign that stopped me in my tracks...
It said "Imagine life without war"... (Refrain)
3. Driving down the #1 I know what I will see
Towns and fields and farmers keep me company
But one day in November I thought I'd call the police
A great big sign beside the road said:
"To remember is to work for peace"... (Refrain)
4. It's not just a sign or two posted here or there
It's 1000 Acts of Peace, in the public square
These crazy people think their message has been heaven-sent
They even want a Department of Peace in our government...!
5. I don't know how it looks to you, but it seems to me
What we're dealing with, my friends, is a conspiracy
We'd better nip this in the bud, starting here and now
Or else these people might just turn our whole world upside down...! (Refrain)
6. Not too long ago some leaders gathered round
It took a billion dollars to keep them safe and sound
At the same time, in Winnipeg, other leaders gathered too
And now there is a 9th Millenial Goal for me and you... that goal is (Refrain)
(A note re: the last verse... World religious leaders, following Robert (Jack) Suderman's address and recommendation at the 2010 World Religions Summit, included the following statement in the final text of their official statement to the G8 leaders: "We condemn religiously motivated terrorism and extremism and commit to stop the teaching and justification of the use of violence between and among our faith communities." A remarkable and far-reaching commitment indeed, coming from religious leaders representing Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Shinto, Hindu, Aboriginal, Baha'i, and Buddhist faiths from over 20 countries...! The implications are very far-reaching... peace in public, indeed...)