Monday, June 1, 2009

Inscription of Hope ~ I Believe In The Sun Even When It Is Not Shining

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Quoting from a Russian Folk Tune, composer Dr. Z. Randall Stroope arranged a stunning choral and instrumental piece for the Nebraska Choral Arts Society and Children's Chorus called "Inscription of Hope." Based on fragments of Jewish text found on a cellar wall in Cologne, Germany during the Holocaust in World War II, it is believed to have been scrawled by a child hiding from the Nazis. The year was 1943.

The rendition you hear at this link is performed with treble voicing, strings and woodwinds. But Inscription of Hope is pure magic when sung by children. I have conducted this piece for children's choir and can testify to that. Melodically and harmonically simplistic, there is room for the innocence of the moment to speak.. Imagine the circumstances that led to such an epitaph.

Here are the lyrics to Stroope's Inscription of Hope along with photographs from the United States Holocaust Museum and public domain during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising in April/May 1943.

This child's poem is why, once again, we must look at the past.
Notice the girl in the checkered coat and hat.

What happened to her?

(The inscription)
"I believe in the sun
even when it is not shining
And I believe in love
even when there's no one there

And I believe in God
even when He is silent

I believe through any trial
there is always a way.
But sometimes in this suffering
and hopeless despair
My heart cries for shelter
to know someone's there
But a voice rises within me saying
'hold on my child'

I'll give you hope
I'll give you strength
Just stay a little while
I believe in the sun
even when it is not shining

And I believe in love
even when there's no one there
And I believe in God
even when He is silent

I believe through any trial
There is always a way

May there someday be sunshine

May there someday be happiness

May there someday be love

May there someday be peace."

There is similar suffering all over the world today in varying forms of atrocity. Perhaps when we no longer need monies to buy bombs and fuel tanks we can feed all the hungry children. And no person will ever again have to scrawl out a message of hope on the dark walls of hell - but from a place of sunshine.
Don't be silent.

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Dawn Drover said...

Simply beautiful Mimi. A very inspiring post.
May there someday be peace.

Amazing Gracie said...

But, Mimi, don't you know the Holocaust didn't happen? Just ask the president of Iran and Hugo Chavez.
I read so very many books on the Holocaust when I was younger, but for some reason, now they hurt my heart so much I cannot bear to watch a movie about those inexplicably evil times...
This is such a beautiful post. Thank you...

Tarheel Rambler said...

Great post, Mimi. I seem to remember coming across similar lyrics somewhere, but I can't seem to remember where. It is a prayer of hope that is inspiring.

As much as I struggle with the idea of God allowing things like this to happen, I'm arriving at a conclusion that it's one of the weaknesses of free will. When mankind is driven by greed and a thirst for power, there are going to be victims. And we seem to have a short memory when it comes to remember past mistakes.

Alicia M B Ballard StudioGaleria said...

coming along just fine dear Mimi

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...


The Gal Herself said...

Sure, make me weepy first thing on Monday! But it's not sad-weepy. It's overwhelmed-by-emotion-weepy. I believe in the spirit that's behind this lyric, and that I felt on Election Night in Grant Park. I'm not naive enough to believe nothing bad will happen again, but I feel it and I've seen it -- HOPE, and voices rising up to say "hold on, my child." Thanks for articulating this for me.

Marcia said...

Someday, humans will get it right, peace will prevail, but until then, we need the reminders so we try harder.

Thank you for reminding the world again and again - in so many ways.

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

Well done!

Mimi Lenox said...

Dawn - I hope you got to listen to the recording. I love this piece.

Mimi Lenox said...

Gracie - I've always been fascinated with Holocaust literature. Elie Wiese's "Night" changed my perspective on the world.

Have you read it?

Mimi Lenox said...

Lee - I struggle with the same issues. I agree with your perception of free will. You've written some introspective posts lately on the subject of faith. Thanks for weighing in here today.

It's a continuous searching, eh?

Mimi Lenox said...

Alicia - Smooch to you! I love it when you comment!! You and I have been in this peace globe thing since November 2006. Wouldn't be the same without you.

Mimi Lenox said...

Bond - Thank you from the cheering section. I hear ya my friend..

Mimi Lenox said...

Bud - Sitting with Vinny in the cheering section I see....smooch.

Mimi Lenox said...

Gal - "The spirit behind the lyric" is invincible. If a child in that circumstance can weave such hope, who am I not to?

Mimi Lenox said...

Marcia - Thank YOU for perpetuating the dream. We will get there.

Travis Cody said...

I bow to you.

Your words focus on what we can try to do, and you inspire me.

Mojo said...

Yeah... what he said. And him. And her too. And especially the kid.

Beautiful baby. Just beautiful.

Ferd said...

Powerful message, my Queen!

You lead. I follow.

Autumn said...

Bootiful! :)

Mimi Lenox said...

Travis -You inspire ME!

Mimi Lenox said...

Mojo - Sobering, isn't it?

Mimi Lenox said...

Ferd - Succinct. You were quite succinct! I'm working on that....

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