Member Joyce ‘Earth Mama’ Rouse contributed this thoughtful song.
I was seated at my piano one day in 2002, when our military was directed to drop bombs on a foreign state, where many innocent people would inevitably perish. It felt misguided, premature, wrong. I was also becoming more alarmed with every report of gun violence, mass shootings and innocent deaths from landmines. My fingers fell into playing the familiar tune of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Then, realizing that it’s not about WHAT is OVER the rainbow, but right here UNDER the rainbow, where we all need to get along. How can we honor peace and find ways to resolve our differences without bloodshed? How can we model for our children tolerance, compassion and peaceful, diplomatic resolution?
So I reversed the octave jump in the melody which begins Over the Rainbow, signaling the reversal in the lyric from Over to Under the Rainbow, and subtly mimicked other elements Dorothy’s theme song to give a nod to the beloved classic.
The lyric theme of “What If?” became another way to dream about what COULD BE. Many of our differences are caused by strong religious beliefs and lack of understanding about cultural differences. What If we looked at things differently and listened more deeply?
What if we dropped books, blankets and food on conflict instead of bombs? How might that change the way we regarded each other?
Violence perpetuates violence and many years later that foreign state is still engulfed in the violence our bombs initiated.
Kids and adults often join in singing on the repeat of the last line, acknowledging that peace must be more than just a possibility, so let’s get started.
Maybe we could just begin…Today.
Peace be with You.
Joyce Rouse, aka, Earth Mama®
For lyrics, click here: Under the Rainbow
For more information on Joyce and her work, check out her website.