End of War
Among musicians and songwriters, I’m certainly not alone when I say I’ve
been greatly influenced by The Beatles. Besides the fact that they wrote
amazing songs, they also had enormous influence on how we think about
the world. In my last blog post, I talked about how powerful music can
be and the days when I used to hope I’d someday write a song that would
move people emotionally. I guess for me, to somehow “change the world”
has always been one of the reasons to write songs in the first place.
But hey, that’s not asking for too much, right?
So this desire has been with me since I started writing songs, but nothing
I wrote ever felt like something with a chance of having an impact you would
call “changing the world” — until something I came up with one night after
watching a film….
Now, I don’t know if what I wrote will actually result in a different
world, but this is the story of my song “End of War.”
The idea for the song came to me after I was reading “The Lorax” to my son
and feeling like Dr. Seuss could have ended the story on a more hopeful note. I
wanted it to say something like, “Here’s how we do things better now,” instead
of having ended it with that ominous “UNLESS” written on the rock on the
Right around the same time, I’d been watching the PBS documentary “The War”
by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, and I was quite moved by the series. It
underscored – at least for me – the senselessness of so many lost lives,
especially the way they paid attention to the details of each soldier’s
personal story. As these thoughts were weighing on me, I started to imagine
how wonderful it would feel to be able to explain the concept of war to my
young son as if it was something we “used to do” in the past but we no longer
engage in. With all this floating about in my mind, I somehow stumbled upon the song’s three opening chords which sounded so hopeful and uplifting that I just started singing “the end of war” over and over again along with it. As I wrote the song, I couldn’t help but think of John Lennon’s song “Imagine,” which I consider to be the ultimate world-changing song, and I pay tribute to him directly in the second verse. After all, I did “imagine” something and it inspired me. Isn’t that what John Lennon was asking us to do?
This is one of my favorite songs and I want to share it with you because I
believe that amazing things can only happen once an idea has been thrown out
there – usually as a Crazy Idea – but anything truly worthwhile probably seemed
crazy at first. This song is not available on any album but I would like you to
hear it so I am offering it as a free download.
Download “End of War” here:
Free “End of War” Download.
The song won a first place in the USA Songwriting Contest,
which was really exciting but what mattered most to me was
getting an email from Mike Pinder, a founding member of the
Moody Blues who had been a songwriting judge. His email stated:
“I knew John Lennon, and he would have liked this song.”
It is my hope that you will like it too, and perhaps you’ll think deeply
about the ideas presented in this song.
And maybe we can change the world.
Talk soon –
PS: I also wanted to offer you this link to a blog post by Rich Moniak
who writes about this song better that I ever could have.
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