The Music of Healing
Tommy Sands - © Elm Grove Music

This song, written and recorded with the help of my dear friend and mentor Pete Seeger from the USA in 1995, would soon lend its name and purpose to an annual seminar/session concept which would travel from Ireland to the Middle East and other regions of conflict. "The Music of Healing," initially chaired by Rostrevor neighbour and current Irish President Mary McAleese uses music and art to create an atmosphere of neighbourliness and humanity thus making it more possible for politicians and former combatants to discuss difficult and divisive issues. In 1996 we moved to Belfast and held "The Citizen's Assembly," a People's gathering representing every political and paramilitary grouping to discuss new methods of Concensus Decision making.

At the "Music of Healing" event in 2008 with Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams and DUP Jeffrey Donaldson, at a time when it was still not possible for them to shake hands they found themselves singing together to a song of Pete's sung by his grandson Tao Rodriguez-Seeger. Tao also performs on this recording as well as Vedran Smailovic, the celebrated cellist of Sarajevo.

Don't beat the drum; that frightens the children.
Don't sing the songs about winning and losing.
Sit down beside me. The green fields are bleeding.
Sing me the music of healing.

Sing me a song of a lover returning,
The darker the night, the nearer the morning,
Bring me the news of a new day that's dawning.
Sing me the music of healing.

Ah, the heart's a wonder,
Stronger than the guns of thunder.
Even when we're torn asunder,
Love will come again.

Sometimes the truth's like a hare in a cornfield.
You know that it's there, but you can't put your arms round it
All you can hope for is to follow its footprints.
Sing me the music of healing.

Who would have thought I could feel so contented
To learn I was wrong after all of my rambles?
I've learned to be hard and I've learned how to tremble
Sing me the music of healing.

Somehow the cycle of vengeance keeps turning
‘Til each other's sorrows and songs we start learning.
Peace is the prize for those who are daring.
Sing me the music of healing.

Time is your friend. it cures all your sorrows.
But how can I wait for another tomorrow?
One step today, and a thousand will follow.
Sing me the music of healing.