I Dream A Song That Brings To Us This Joy

I dream a song that brings to us this joy
Renee Fleming singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone”

I have written a number of posts about national anthems and the future world anthem. Sometimes a national anthem is written a good time before the birth/rebirth of a sovereign nation (Israel, India). Sometimes a national anthem is written a good time after the birth of a sovereign nation (United States). But they all have a stirring of the soul of hope for that nation’s best destiny. I now write about a song that seems to stir that stirring.

I dream a song that brings to us this joy

I dream a song that brings to us this joy. Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II wrote the song “You’ll Never Walk Alone” in 1945, as part of the Broadway musical “Carousel.” In the second act of the musical, Nettie Fowler, the cousin of the protagonist Julie Jordan, sings “You’ll Never Walk Alone” to comfort and encourage Julie when her husband, Billy Bigelow, the male lead, falls on his knife and dies after a failed robbery attempt.

When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark

At the end of a storm
There’s a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark

Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown

Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone

You’ll never walk alone

Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone

You’ll never walk alone

It is reprised in the final scene to encourage a graduation class of which Louise (Billy and Julie’s daughter) is a member. The now invisible Billy, who has been granted the chance to return to Earth for one day in order to redeem himself, watches the ceremony and is able to silently motivate the unhappy Louise to join in the song. The song is thus the resounding exclamation point of the musical for me.

I dream a song to help me face disaster

I dream a song that brings to us this joy. This song has entered the world’s musical vocabulary, being covered by many artists in every decade since its composition. But there is a particular cover version I wish to consider. The Liverpool band Gerry and the Pacemakers recorded this song in 1963. They changed the meter from 4/4 to 6/8. That seems to be important to make it easier to sway to. It was more than a #1 song in the UK. Gerry Marsden presented the song to Liverpool FC (that’s soccer to my fellow Americans) manager Bill Shankly, and it was sung by the Liverpool fans before the 1965 FA Cup Final. It has since become the Liverpool FC anthem.

I dream a song that sings around the world

“You’ll Never Walk Alone” sung by Borussia Dortmund fans

I dream a song that brings to us this joy. It would be one thing if it was just a Liverpool thing. But it seems to be more than that. Celtic in Glasgow adopted the song in 1966. It has since spread to Borussia Dortmund of the Bundesliga in 1996, Feyenoord in Rotterdam, and FC Tokyo in Japan.

I dream a song that sings the greatest truth

I dream a song that brings to us this joy. I freely admit that when I first heard this song in a production of Carousel, I didn’t believe it. I considered this song to be a sentimental anesthetic to dull the pain of fundamental futility. A band-aid to put on the cancer of everyone I know going away in the end. But I reconsider when I see how people respond to this song. I reconsider as I study of Steps to Knowledge, the book of spiritual practice of the New Message from God.

In Step 45 of Steps to Knowledge, “Alone I can do nothing,” I am told that every accomplishment, every achievement is the product of relationship. Step 53, “My gifts are for others” declares “Alone you can do nothing. Alone you have no meaning. This is because you are not alone.” Step 78, “I can do nothing alone” not only declares this again, but puts an exclamation point at the end. “You can do nothing alone, for you are not alone. A greater truth you will not find.” I have never been alone. I am not alone. I will never be alone.

Should “You’ll Never Walk Alone” be the future anthem of the world? I don’t know. All I know is that people respond to this song, both in times of joy and times of trial. All I know is this brief song contains an essential truth of the human experience. I find that something of a miracle.

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