Today’s song comes from new member Annie Lynn, It is a gentle, melodic reminder of a simple truth, there is no time for hate.
I started writing “No Time for Hate” after attending several workshops on tolerance and bullying-prevention while acting as a volunteer music teacher and classroom Mom at my son’s school. He was 9, and being bullied. At the same time my writing partner, Chris Arms, was dealing with the same problem with his 9 year old daughter, but this time instead of mean boys, it was mean girls…a totally different meanness, equally as devastating. I took some of the “best practices” ideas I had learned, and wrote most of “No Time For Hate.” I called up Chris Arms, and asked to record what I had. When I introduced the song to him; it was this quiet, acoustic song, with simple chords and no bridge. I put down what I had, Chris put a soft drum track behind it, and I left, intending to come in the next day to put down vocals and mix it. I mentioned on my way out that I wish I had written a bridge for it, and maybe done something more interesting.
So, I came back the next morning to record, and Chris told me to sit down. He had not only composed a bridge for me (I only had 10 minutes to create new lyrics!) but he had added drums, bass, and this amazing Hammond B-3 underneath, my head was just spinning. My song was changed……but for the BETTER! As I listened to just the instrumental version he had put together, I realized that this is what I had needed: Collaboration with someone who had a different musical style than mine. We added the vocals, hired children to sing, many who had been bullied including my son, Alex (you’ll hear him in the opening monologue) and all sang like angels. As we mixed it, all I could think is “I wrote this song???” It was the beginning of a partnership with Chris Arms that changed the trajectory of where I was going personally and musically.
Chris and I both try to practice Tikun Olam, which in Hebrew means, “Repair the World.” While we used to license our songs to schools, for every school that paid us, there were two more, often in foreign countries, that asked if we could donate it. And we did, over and over again, until it seemed it was time to move away from being a licensing library to a supplier of a CD for schools at an affordable price. We now offer a CD: No Time for Hate and Other Songs for Schools with curriculum-based songs complete with karaoke tracks and practice videos with lyrics.
As the years pass since this song was written, the problems it speaks to still exist. Sometimes, I become overwhelmed by hatred I see on media and in person, and start to react to it by cutting myself off from the world. But there is also a movement of people I am so relieved to have found, here on CMN and around the world also practicing Tikun Olam. With their strength, and their good karma heal-the-world songs, I will learn to be stronger, and work toward our mutual goal of spreading and encouraging acceptance of others, ALL OTHERS. “No Time For Hate” has five international songwriting awards, is endorsed by Teachers Against Prejudice for their website and workshops, and has recently been performed by the church choir at the Arch Street United Methodist Church in Philadelphia, a church that welcomes and supports all congregants, including LGBTQ congregants. Sheet music for choirs is now being written. Thanks for letting me share everybody.
Peace, Love and Music, Annie Lynn and Chris Arms
For lyrics, click here.