I wrote this song over the course of two Mondays, 18 and 25 March 2019, with Sarah and a fellow named Sahir, who had recently arrived in Brussels with his family. They left Gaza in search of a peaceful life. In particular, he wanted his young son to grow up knowing that peace was possible and “without hate in his heart.”
This song echoes themes that have surfaced many times over the course of the two plus years I have been writing songs with refugees at Fedasil Petit-Château Klein-Kasteeljte. The desire for a peaceful life for ourselves and our children, equality for all people, frustration that political leaders hold so much power in determining if there is peace or violence in a region.
To read more about the writing of this song, visit Guiding Song: We Want To Live In Peace
These three recordings show the very beginnings of the melody and lyrics coming together. First singing through the words, and I offered to play a little ukulele. I often try not to play because even the choices I make for chords, strumming pattern, and rhythm can influence the direction of the song. I prefer to start the melodic process from the person who shared the words because I think there is a deeply profound connection between them and their story and the notes that begin to shape the melodic expression of the song.
These are a couple of recordings of everyone singing the song before we wrote the Bridge:
In this version, I added the word “our” before “politics makes us miserable,” which prompted a discussion about who “owned” the politics? Us or them?
Singing through the Bridge:
This is a vide of a live performance of this song at the fountain at Sint Katelijn just around the corner from the Fedasil Arrival Centre. Sarah and I are performing “We are all human” with Mohamed.