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World On Fire

October 15, 2004

Musicians, writers and artists, those who really influence culture, should communicate something worthwhile to the larger public that they are reaching. They should speak words and ideas that are worthy of being heard and understood. The problem lies in who decides what IS worthy of being heard and understood. We all have people who we allow to speak into our lives. For me, I’ve let thousands of people speak into my life through music, television and film. Music is the medium that best allows my soul to resonate with that of the artist. Hopefully, I’ve only really paid attention to those musicians, especially songwriters, who do have something worthy to say. One such artist is Sarah McLachlan. More than her beautiful voice and haunting melodies, Sarah writes songs from a place of humility that are raw and honest.

Today, Sarah McLachlan showed up in the gym at my apartment complex. Well, not in the flesh, rather through VH1. At first I recognized the melody. It was a song called “World on Fire” from her Afterglow album, and it also just happened to be my favorite cut on that album. Lyrics please:

Hearts are worn in these dark ages
You’re not alone in these stories pages
The light has fallen amongst the living and the dying
And I’ll try to hold it in
Yeah I’ll try to hold it in

The world is on fire, it’s more then I can handle
I’ll tap into the water, try and bring my share
Try to bring more, more then I can handle
Bring it to the table
Bring what I am able

I watch the heavens but I find no calling
Something I can do to change what’s coming
Stay close to me while the sky is falling
I don’t wanna be left alone, don’t wanna be alone

The world is on fire, it’s more then I can handle
I’ll tap into the water, try and bring my share
Try to bring more, more then I can handle
Bring it to the table
Bring what I am able

Hearts break, hearts mend, love still hurts
Visions clash, planes crash, still theres talk of
saving souls still cold is closing in on us

We part the veil on our killer sun
Stray from the straight line on this short run
The more we take the less we become
The fortune of one man means less for some

The world is on fire, its more then I can handle
I’ll tap into the water, try and bring my share
Try to bring more, more then I can handle
Bring it to the table
Bring what I am able

Since it was VH1 that I was watching, the video had come on. Basically the idea for the video was to take a normal budget that it takes to make a music video and distribute it to those in need around the world. I was stopped by the power of this video this morning. In the most powerful and humble way, Sarah communicated the urge to provide for our neighbors in need around the world, because they are a part of us, of the whole of humanity. She did this without angry protest, as many are accostom to here in the States. And why should she? She isn’t an angry American. She’s Canadian. And she is not just giving lip service to her convictions as many of us do. She is actually acting on them. Anyway, the video is beautiful and speaks loudly. Run your cursor over the title of this blog and click to watch the video.

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