Recently, as bombs continue to hit civilian targets in Ukraine, someone posted this deeply moving video.
The last time I’d sung this version of “Finlandia” had been in 2008, in Cuba. A member of a small group of American Quakers visiting that beleaguered* country, our group joined the Gibara Friends Church congregation to sing this song of peace together—first in Spanish, then in English.
And I shall never forget, as we’d all sung the Spanish words to But other hearts in other lands are beating/ With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine, how one Cuban Quaker woman and I locked eyes. And nodded. And smiled.
THIS IS MY SONG
This is my song,
O God of all the nations,
A song of peace for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is;
Here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine;
But other hearts in other lands are beating
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.
My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
And sunlight beams on clover- leaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
Oh, hear my song, O God of all the nations,
A song of peace for their land and for mine.
To the melody of Finlandia — Lyrics by Lloyd Stone
*Beleagured much because of my country’s policies