SIGNS OF HOPE - PETER KEARNEY + Crossover
RECORDING: Recorded April 1986 at Restless Studio, Balmain, Sydney. Mixed at Restless Studio and Windwood Studio, Lawson, NSW.
WORDS & MUSIC by Peter Kearney © 1986. 'Black Is' words by Maureen Watson.
SINGERS AND MUSICIANS:
Linda Berry: flute, group vocals
Penny Davies: group vocals, percussion, dulcimer
Louise Gore: synthesiser, melodion, group vocals
Ross Grierson: double bass
Roger Ilott: guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, percussion, group vocals
Peter Kearney: lead vocals, guitar, recorder, percussion
Claire Parkhill: lead vocals, piano, recorder
Children of Our Lady of Nativity School Lawson NSW sing in ‘Lead Me to Hope’
ARRANGEMENTS by Peter Kearney and the Crossover Group
PRODUCED by Roger Ilott & Penny Davies (tracks 2,3,4,5,8) and Peter Kearney (tracks 1,6,7,9,10)
PUBLISHED by Crossover Music, PO Box 496, Mittagong, NSW 2575, Australia
FRONT COVER artwork by Karin Donaldson
TRACK LIST & NOTES by Peter Kearney
1. John And Jesus - A theme suggested by Fr Ted Kennedy: the intertwined lives and missions of John the Baptist and his cousin Jesus. The chorus refers to the original meaning of 'Baptism' which is 'being overwhelmed by the waters . . . or 'drowning'.
2. To See The Light – I first sung this song at the Sydney Opera House in 1985 as part of an evening of liturgical arts ‘Let There Be Light’.
3. Signs Of Hope – Written for an evening at the Sydney Opera House with the Brazilian Bishop, Dom Helder Camara. Lyrics based on his writings.
4. My Daughter My Son - Written for a Family Life Education Conference in Sydney, June 1985. A song that has often been used for baptisms, weddings and funerals
5. Black Is - My setting of poem of 'black pride' by Aboriginal poet, Maureen Watson. The musical setting received Maureen’s approval.
6. Start From Here - Jesus weeps over Jerusalem (Hiroshima, Sydney?)
7. Love is Not a Crime - A story of civil disobedience in Melbourne Australia on Easter Sunday morning 1985. The site for the action was the joint US-Australiam satellite facility at Watsonia Barracks, a facility to guide US nuclear weapons to targets in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
8. George Zabelka - Telling the story of the Catholic priest who was chaplain to the crews on the planes that bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Zabelka later became a peace activist.
9. All Aboard The Ark - A light-hearted celebration of L'Arche communities. Begun in France in 1964 by Jean Vanier and Fr Thomas Phillipe, a L’Arche Community is a place where mentally handicapped adults and their assistants share the work and life of a single community. L’Arche Communities have been established in many countries including Australia.
10. Lead Me to Hope
THE 'CROSSOVER' GROUP: In March 1985, Peter Kearney gathered some musical friends for three concerts to launch 'Turn it All Around', his first recorded album. During 1985-86 the group played in several more concerts around Sydney and were asked to provide 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 Peter Kearney and eventually these songs were recorded onto this album 'Signs Of Hope'. Members of Crossover at the time were:
Linda Berry (flute, vocals); Penny Davies (vocals, percussion, dulcimer); Louise Gore (synthesiser, melodeon, vocals);
Ross Grierson (double bass); Roger Ilott (guitars, mandolin, bouzouki, percussion, vocals); Peter Kearney (lead vocals, guitar, recorder, percussion, metallophone); Claire Parkhill (lead vocals, piano, recorder).
PREFACE by PETER KEARNEY for the 'Signs of Hope' Music Book
This is a collection of songs written in the two years following 'Turn It All Around' (1984). 'Turn It All Around' had a penitential theme and its colour was purple. For 'Signs Of Hope', the artist Karin Donaldson chose the colours green and white shining out against a dark background. She wrote: "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 same spirit and attitude of hope was found in Dom Helder Camara, Archbishop of Recife, the poorest region of Brazil. Who could have known better than him the problems, the backdrop of despair, the enormous obstacles to justice and peace? In his book 'Hoping against all Hope', he gave a calm analysis of the problems, the structures of injustice, the spiral of violence. But then, again and again, throughout the analysis, came the refrain: 'but there are signs of hope, clear signs of hope!' He was, in Martin Luther King's phrase, 'tough-minded and tender-hearted'. He believed in the tiny seed, in the light that the darkness cannot snuff out, in the power of truth and peaceful action. He believed in the power of people who have discovered hope faith and solidarity. The focal point of this album is the title song 'Signs of Hope', based on the writings of Dom Helder. 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. Thanks to the people who inspire the songs.
COMMENTS by VAL NOONE at the Launch of 'Signs of Hope', Melbourne 1986
"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 )