Pete Seeger, American folk singer

Norwegian people announce “Peace Song of the Day” for 4/27/2012

As royalty (in the most whimsical of senses), the Duke and Duchess of Peace envision themselves as proclaiming the Peace Song of the Day. If you look around the news today, you see that the people of Norway have made the choice: The Peace Song of the Day is Children of the Rainbow” by Pete Seeger.

In a compassionate, defiant, community response to the actions and words of the right wing, mass murderer, who killed 77 people last year, 40,000 people gathered in Oslo to sing Pete Seeger’s song about love and tolerance, “Children of the Rainbow” (“My Rainbow Race”, English title.)

You can see video from the scene in Norway below. And underneath, is a story from Common Dreams, and the song lyrics. The song, in English, appears in Rise Up Singing: The Group Singing Songbook, the songbook which was part of the inspiration for our Peace Song of the Day project. We knew that the answer to world peace was somewhere between the covers of that amazing, inspiring, abundant collection of sing-a-long tunes.

Thanks to David Mitchell, for sending along the Common Dreams story, with the link to the authentic video, this morning.

from Common Dreams / April 26, 2012
40,000 Norwegians Sing Out in Defiance and Love

“It is we who win” – Common Dreams staff

Tens of thousands of Norwegians marched beneath pouring rain in Oslo today [4/26], converging at Central Square to sing together a Norwegian version of American folk music singer Pete Seeger’s “Rainbow Race” in a moving protest against mass killer Anders Behring Breivik, who murdered 77 Norwegians last year in the name of eliminating “multiculturalism” and leftist ideologies.

Some 40,000 people stand in pouring rain in Oslo’s Youngstorget square to participate in the singing of “Barn av Regnbuen” (Children of the Rainbow), April 26, 2012. (AP) The song — the Norwegian version translates as “Children of the Rainbow” — extols the type of multicultural society Breivik has said he despised and one that he specifically mentioned during his trial last week as “Marxist propaganda”, triggering a Facebook initiative for today’s protest.

Norwegian folk singer Lillebjørn Nilsen guided the song with his ukulele as the rose-carrying and umbrella-laden crowd of an estimated 40,000 sang along.

“Shocked by Breivik’s lack of remorse for his massacre,” writes the Associated Press, “Norwegians by and large have decided the best way to confront him is by demonstrating their commitment to everything he loathes. Instead of raging against the gunman, they have manifested their support for tolerance and democracy.”

Pete Seeger, American folk singer
Pete Seeger

Children of the Rainbow (Norwegian title)
My Rainbow Race (original, English)
by Pete Seeger

One blue sky above us
One ocean lapping all our shore
One earth so green and round
Who could ask for more
And because I love you
I’ll give it one more try
To show my rainbow race
It’s too soon to die.

Some folks want to be like an ostrich,
Bury their heads in the sand.
Some hope that plastic dreams
Can unclench all those greedy hands.
Some hope to take the easy way:
Poisons, bombs. They think we need ’em.
Don’t you know you can’t kill all the unbelievers?
There’s no shortcut to freedom.

Go tell, go tell all the little children.
Tell all the mothers and fathers too.
Now’s our last chance to learn to share
What’s been given to me and you.

If you enjoy the joy and power of music, how about this event?…
May Day, May 1st 2012 in New York City:
1,000 guitars will occupy the streets!
Click above for set list, rehearsal, and
meeting place for May Day

Daily Peace Songlist: here

The Peace Song of the Day is a project of Duke Augustus and Duchess Susanna, The Duke and Duchess of Peace. Peace, for us, includes diversity and tolerance, love for the earth and sustainability, justice for all, and determined compassion. Many of our song choices express one or more of these values. All of our song choices embrace nonviolence.

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