From the recording Yaweh
Featuring the brilliant coloratura soprano Julie Cavalieri along with tenor Eric Francoiseau
The song "Yaweh" (Hebrew for "God") is not in reference to any specific religion, but more a calling for all good people to rise up collectively and fight injustice together in the face of the blind hatred of others. I was particularly inspired here by Dr. King's focus on and his articulation of the Civil Rights issues in the Montgomery Bus protest, and how he let the power of his religious convictions flow through his speeches and writings so beautifully yet ever so sparingly directly mentioning his Christian beliefs.
The reggae groove of "Yaweh" in Peace Oratorio is inspired by the music of the great Jamaican singer-songwriter Bob Marley as well as his universal approach to spirituality. Although personally a devout Rastafari, Bob Marley's did not impose his religious beliefs on his fans and allowed the spiritual side of his lyrics to inform and flow through his music. Surely Bob Marley knew of MLK, and was perhaps referring to him when he sang in his iconic "Redemption Song" "How long shall they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look?" In the 2009 performance of Peace Oratorio, we did an arrangement of this song as an encore to underline the point that for Peace between people to exist, there must first be forgiveness.
NARRATION : On December 1st, 1955, Mrs. Rosa Parks was arrested on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger. Her selfless act tested the jurisprudence of unjust segregation laws and inspired the 50,000 black people of Montgomery to rise up together. For over a year, from December 5th, 1955 to December 21st, 1956 the buses were empty of black passengers.
Somewhere it’s a mission to lose my inhibition
Make a straight way to the Lord
It’s you I’m singing for ‘cause I love you
And I need you
To come right by my side oh yeah, and I see you
I feel you
You surround me with never ending light Whoa, oh
Give us one day to find away and we will
RISE LIKE THE SUN
Give us one Night to make it right and we will
RISE LIKE THE MOON ...YAWEH
Somewhere it’s a mission to improve human conditions
Help each other from this war, oh
What’s this fighting for?
There’s too much hatred
Too much killing
Too much shouting to put each other down, Oh yeah
We can change it
We must change it
We will change it Turn the world around, Whoa,oh
Yaweh live in all of us
No matter who you are, ah
Spirits live inside of us so let them rise up
Higher than the sun, the moon, the stars,
RISE LIKE THE SUN,
RISE LIKE THE MOON (Ad-Libs)
YAWEH, YAWEH, YAWEH