STLT#168, One More Step

A few short thoughts today.

First, composer Joyce Poley is one of the sweetest people I have ever met and very much wrote this before we had an awareness of ableist language.

But despite how sweet she is, she wrote one of the most annoying earworms we have. Sadly, it mostly gets played as an oom-pa-pa and not the more gentle waltz I am sure Poley anticipated. And so it’s often avoided on those grounds, even before considering the language of the first verse.

Yet the sentiment is good and righteous and motivating. It’s Frederick Buechner’s “There can be no peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy for you also” in song. So it still works – but requires a lot of care in the introduction and performance.

One more step,
we will take one more step,
‘til there is peace for us and everyone,
we’ll take one more step.

One more word,
we will say one more word,
‘til every word is heard by everyone,
we’ll say one more word.

One more prayer,
we will say one more prayer,
‘til every prayer is shared by everyone,
we’ll say one more prayer.

One more song,
we will sing one more song,
‘til every song is sung by everyone,
we’ll sing one more song.

I think my feelings about this can be summed up as ‘this song hasn’t aged well – but bless its heart.’

I rarely use stock images, but this one seemed to fit…

One Comment

  1. Yeah, the tune just kind of doesn’t go anywhere. Our pianist doesn’t oom-pa-pa, but maybe even a gentle waltz is not all that exciting to sing.

    Can you explain how the language of the other three verses is not problematic?

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