I wrote the chorus of this song with a woman from Macedonia as part of a songwriting workshop during Women’s History Month on 10 March 2017. She had three young boys, and an intern at the center entertained the boys with arts and crafts so their mother could share her story with me. She did not speak English or French, and I did not speak her native tongue or any Nederlands. We communicated through the intern in bits and pieces and through gesticulations, facial expressions, and deduction. She also did not feel comfortable singing, so I added a melody to her the chorus we constructed. Another mother came to the session with her daughter. This woman did not speak English, but we all practiced learning the words through slow repetition and translation. We then sang through the chorus several times.
I eventually finished the song by writing verses from stories that were shared with me by other residents I met at the center. It is a song that communicates a very universal desire for a peaceful life for ourselves and our children, and I have sang it for people from all walks of life who have made a deep connection to it.
To read more about the writing of this song, visit Guiding Song: I Want A Peaceful Life
This is a recording from the session where everyone was learning the chorus:
This is a recording of the mothers at the workshop singing the chorus: