remembrance day songs, part II

after posting about remembrance day songs yesterday i went to my daughter’s remembrance day assembly. it was quite moving. and i thought, this is what will be a childhood memory for my daughter one day!

here are the songs they sang:

  • one more step
  • where have all the flowers gone
  • what a wonderful world
  • lay down your arms
  • may there always be sunshine
  • expect respect
  • the brave canadian soldier

the ones that moved me – one more step, lay down your arms, and the brave canadian soldier – were probably songs that were composed specifically for school music. too bad i can’t find the lyrics on the internet.

i liked one more step because it reminded me of the “one day at a time” motto. it’s hard to imagine we can make a big difference in the world – but what we can do is get up the courage to just do one little step. and then another one. and another one.

when i first saw the title of the brave canadian soldier i thought it would the typical kind of song that celebrates war. however, what i heard was a sweet melancholy of ambivalence. all the choruses ended with: “some say it’s right, some say it’s wrong.”

that’s what i’m taking away from this year’s remembrance day. this tension. “some say it’s right, some say it’s wrong.” even though i’m a pacifist, i think i understand people who aren’t. the principal at my daughter’s school put it very well. he said that his uncle, a bomber who was fighting what he obviously felt was a good and just war, was “dropping bombs on other people’s brothers and sisters.”

is this a tension that we will ever be able to resolve?

i hope so.

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

One thought on “remembrance day songs, part II

  1. Steve

    There are numerous songs that celebrate the honour of soldiers that went (are going) to war without glorifying it. Remeber, it’s not the soldiers that cause wars it’s the politicians that cause wars.

    Sometimes it good to rember the following:
    First they came for the Jews
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for the Communists
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Communist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a trade unionist.
    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left
    to speak out for me.
    Pastor Martin Niemöller

    Here are some other songs you should listen to also. It’s unfortunate that we give soldiers that gave their lives for our freedom and other people’s freedom 2 reluctant minutes of our time.

    Listen to Terry Kelly’s A Pittance of Time. BTW some of these authors/singers are Canadian.

    Shawn Hlookoff’s Soldier
    Fires of Calais – James Keelaghan
    Macdonnell On The Heights – Stan Rogers
    In Flanders Fields – John McDermott
    On This Day – Kiley Dean
    Sgt. Mackenzie – Joe Kilna Mackenzie
    The Green Fields of France – John McDermott
    Nov11 – The Cruzeros
    The Battles O’er – Andy Stewart

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