Monthly Peace Challenge: One Good Thing About Music (Yesterday and Today)


forpeace25jpgBloggers for Peace and everydaygurus are hosting an August challenge in which bloggers are asked to invoke the power of music to bring peace.  Being an aging “Hippie Peace Freak,” I was steeped in the anti-war protest music of the 1960s and early 1970s.  So many songs spoke to my generation of peace and brotherhood/sisterhood.  One of my favorite songs then and now is “Peace Train,” recorded by Cat Stevens in 1971.

Another song, almost unknown today, was the title song from the 1973 movie “Lost Horizon,” a musical adaptation of James Hilton‘s 1933 novel of the same name.  Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, the song was sung by Shawn Phillips who, to this day, gets almost no credit for the recording.  “Lost Horizon” speaks to

“…a place
Far away from it all
Where the air you breathe is soft and clean
And children play in fields of green
And the sound of guns
Doesn’t pound in your ears (anymore)

Have you ever dreamed of a place
Far away from it all
Where the winter winds will never blow
And living things have room to grow
And the sound of guns
Doesn’t pound in your ears anymore.”


Today, there is an amazing organization endeavoring to bring peace through music.  Playing for Change began ten or so years ago when documentary filmmakers traveled throughout the world filming street musicians.  Their efforts blossomed into a project that now includes not only street musicians but musicians of every level of renown.

From the Playing for Change website:

While traveling the world filming and recording musicians, the crew became intimately involved with the music and people of each community they visited. Although many of these communities had limited resources and a modest standard of living, the people in them were full of generosity, warmth, and above all they were connected to each other by a common thread: music.

Out of these discoveries, the Playing For Change Foundation was born and made its mission to ensure that anyone with the desire to receive a music education would have the opportunity to do so. The Playing For Change Foundation is dedicated to the fundamental idea that peace and change are possible through the universal language of music.”

The Playing for Change Foundation sponsors music schools, gives concerts worldwide, and acts as an access point for providing clean water, electricity, and medical care to needy communities around the world.  Many of their songs and performances can be found on YouTube.  Here are two: “Stand by Me” and “United”.

Playing for Change

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. Kozo Hattori says:

    I love the merging of bloggers for peace and playing for change here. Thank you for that. I can listen to Peace Train a thousand times and still want more. Great musical offerings. Thank you for this wonderful post for peace. {{{Hugs}}} kozo


    1. Thank you! I appreciate your comment. Cheers, Deb


  2. Amy says:

    Beautiful post! The “Stand by Me” and “United” are very moving. Thank you for sharing!


  3. brucethomasw says:

    Hadn’t listened to peace train in many years. Always loved stand by me, too.
    i won’t cry i won’t cry i wont shed a tear, come on peace train.


    1. Glad you enjoyed the music! I still listen to all the old songs whenever I can. 🙂


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