Wednesday, March 17, 2010



Lyrics by Jack Veasey

The spirit may not have a name
Nor laws to live by to impose
And yet it fills this empty frame
With light the way rain fills a rose

The spirit may not raise us high
Above what strangers we might fear
Yet shake the hand, and meet the eye
And all mistrust may disappear

The spirit flows through us like blood
And we all bleed when wounds invade
The spirit makes flesh more than mud
When from our struggles bonds are made

The spirit lives in all and each
despite what differences we see
Don’t turn away from what can teach
Diversity is unity

The spirit can be recognized
In every shade the rainbow holds
No one excluded or despised
Beneath this flag the sun unfolds

We find our path, we sing our song
Our faces open to the sky
We find the spirit is too strong
To be held down, or to deny

The spirit lives in all and each
despite what differences we see
Don’t turn away from what can teach
Diversity is unity

© 2008 by Jack Veasey

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced or duplicated in any way without the author's written permission.

Here's something different: a song lyric, a first for this blog. At the request of my life partner, I wrote a completely new lyric to an existing tune -- a contemporary Christian hymn -- to make it nonsectarian. At the time we were members of a Unitarian Church; he was choir director, I sang tenor. I think what I came up with expressed the Unitarian view of spirituality and community pretty precisely. When we rehearsed the song, choir members expressed great enthusiasm for it.

However, all groups have their politics. The song's use in a service kept being put off. This seemed to happen a lot with my attempts to participate creatively in church services. I'm tempted to say a lot more about this situation, but the subject raises my blood pressure to an unsafe level.

The song was never performed at a service, and we no longer attend this church. The song wasn't the straw that broke the camel's back for us, but what happened with it didn't help. There's no point in a creative person remaining in an atmosphere where creativity is regarded as an inconvenience at best, and a threat to the status quo at worst.

All of which leaves me in a weird position in regard to this song. It was written to be performed in a particular situation which will now never happen. The lyrics are very specific to that. It also says something that I wish were true, but found out was NOT the case in the church I wrote it about (though it expresses the ideals that church is SUPPOSED to be about accurately, I think). I guess it needs to be set to a new tune. Or maybe it's just one of those efforts you have to chalk up as a learning experience. At least there's nothing to stop me from sharing it here.

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