1. John And Jesus:- The justice message of John the Baptist and his cousin Jesus
2. To See The Light - "God is like the sun, we were meant to come into the light." Young people love this one
3. Signs Of Hope - Liberation theology - based on the writings of Brazilian Bishop, Dom Helder Camara
4. My Daughter My Son: - "Of silver and gold I have none but in my heart be love . . . " A song that is often used for baptisms, weddings and funerals
5. Black Is: Peter's setting of poem of 'black pride' by Aboriginal poet, Maureen Watson
6. Start From Here: - Jesus weeps over Jerusalem (Hiroshima, Sydney?)
7. Love Is Not A Crime : A story of civil disobedience on Easter Sunday morning.
8. George Zabelka:- Telling the story of the Catholic Chaplain to the crews who bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He later became a peace activist
9. All Aboard The Ark: - 'All aboard the ark, no first or second class, everyone is welcome and the tickets are for free . . . the slow can join the fast,' - a light-hearted celebration of the L'Arche communities which welcome intellectually disabled adults
10. Lead Me To Hope:- Lead me to hope, love, faith and peace ... Ideal for congregational singing.
SINGERS AND MUSICIANS:
COVER ARTWORK: Karin Donaldson
This is a collection of songs written in the two years following 'Turn It All Around' (1984). (nb. The 'Where Is Your Song, My Lord?' collection, though newly published (1985) in tape and book form, is a group of earlier songs, most of them written in 1970 while I was living in England).
'Turn It All Around' had a penitential theme and its colour was purple. For 'Signs Of Hope', the artist Karin Donaldson has chosen green and white shining out against a dark background. She writes: "hope, for rne, has to do with clarity and brightness. The green and black and white for me add up to a kind of alert, cheerful brightness which I think is right to suggest hope."
This spirit and attitude of hope is found in Dom Helder Camara, Archbishop of Recife, the poorest region of Brazil. Who could know better than he the problems, the backdrop of despair, the enormous obstacles to justice and peace? In his book 'Hoping against all Hope', he gives us a calm analysis of the problems, the structures of injustice, the spiral of violence. But then, again and again, throughout the analysis, comes the refrain: 'but there are signs of hope, clear signs of hope!' He is, in Martin Luther King's phrase, 'tough-minded and tender-hearted'. He believes in the tiny seed, in the light that the darkness cannot snuff out, in the power of truth and peaceful action. He believes in the power of people who have discovered hope faith and solidarity. The focal point of this collection is the title song 'Signs of Hope' which is based on the writings of Dom Helder Camara. In other songs, 'signs of hope' are found in individual lives. in relationships, in communities centred on the poor and the small including the family, in culture and tradition and in the war-resistance movement . . . 'signs of God, signs of hope in a hopeless time'.
I write from and for a community of faith yet I am a song-writer rather than a hymn-writer or liturgist. Of this collection perhaps only 'Lead Me To Hope' and 'My Daughter, My Son' would work as hymns. However, it has been heartening to hear from quite a few people that the songs as well as the hymns are meeting a need. They have been listened to and sung, even danced and dramatised, in a variety of contexts. I trust that these new songs will find their welcome places and become in themselves 'Signs of Hope.
Thanks to all who help and encourage me in my work. Special thanks to Karin Donaldson, Claire Parkhill, Maria and Henr Rohr, Rob Humphries, Ted Kennedy and, as always, Madge. Thanks to the people who inspire the songs.
Peter Kearney, April 1986
Notes by Bruce Kent from his book - 'The Non-Violence of Helder Camara'
'Murries' . . . meaning Aboriginal people, more commonly heard in Queensland.. equivalant to Koories and Nungas.
An excellent video 'The Reluctant Prophet' has been made on the life of George Zabelka.
LOVE IS NOT
In March 1985, Peter Kearney gathered some musical friends for three concerts to launch 'Turn it All Around'.
During 1985-86 the group played in several concerts around Sydney and were asked to provide the music for an evening with the Brazilian Bishop, Dom Helder Camara at the Sydney Opera House. (The song 'Signs Of Hope' was written for this event).
The group developed arrangements of new songs by PK and eventually these songs were recorded on this Album, 'Signs Of Hope'. Members of Crossover at the time were:
Linda Berry (flute, vocals);
"First comes 'John and Jesus' in which a jovial melody acts as a counterpoint and dreadful story of what happens to those who speak the truth. The title song is based on the words of Bishop Dom Helder Camara of a champion of Brazil's poor. 'Black Is' is Peter's setting of a strong, evocative piece by Maureen Watson and Aboriginal storyteller who works to affirm and strengthen Aboriginal identity. Then comes a lament about a city which could be Sydney and Hiroshima and Jerusalem. 'George Zabelka' is the story of an old US Airforce chaplain who had blessed the bomb crews on Tinian Island as they went off to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Zabelka now repents and has gone on a pilgrimage to Japan to beg forgiveness.
These songs take on the grim realities of human oppression, the nuclear threat and environmental pollution but are themselves 'signs of hope'. The imagery is rich and stimulating and the tunes reflect the joy of a follower of St. Francis of Assisi.
There is a central theological position in Kearney's work which he sums up neatly in the refrain of the title song: "the poor ones show the way, the poor ones are the way." Peter Kearney is part of a movement of those who try to live at the meeting point of the ancient Christian tradition and the world of today... He takes seriously a very serious task, namely the transformation of our culture from one of war and profit so beloved by the mass-media to one of resistance and peace and justice. From a culture of violence and death to a life-affirming culture.
The way in which Peter's songs combine joy and pain reminds me of the Buddhist saying: "Deep down within us the pain and joy are one". (Val Noone, Fitzroy )