50 Years Ago. Humanity. Together. Earth. Home.

And now for some global warming of another kind—people coming together to feel the warmth of humanity through music.

Just as people with dementia come alive when they hear a familiar tune, “Playing for Change is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music. The idea for this project came from a common belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people.”

Fifty years ago, in 1971, two songs were released that would become anthems for peace over the ages—Cat Stevens’ Peace Train and John Lennon’s Imagine. 

Peace Train Remake Half-Century Later

Last month, Cat Stevens released a remake of his first Top 10 Hit (in 1971), Peace Train. From the website, “This… version features more than 25 musicians from 12 countries and unites Yusuf/Cat Stevens, singing and playing… in a tranquil open-air setting in Istanbul, Turkey….” UK-born Steven Demetre Georgiou, stage name Cat Stevens, converted from Greek Orthodox to Islam before his 30th birthday. He has taken on the Muslim name, Yusuf (Joseph, in Arabic).

Here is the first refrain from Peace Train ©1971

Now I’ve been happy lately
Thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be
Something good has begun
Oh, I’ve been smiling lately
Dreaming about the world as one
And I believe it could be
Someday it’s going to come

In 1971, another voice sang about peace—John Lennon, Imagine. Two years before the Beatles’ song lead the charts,  The 5th Dimension released their 1969 hit, Age of Aquarius.

When the moon is in the Seventh House
And Jupiter aligns with Mars
Then peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius

We lived in tumultuous times during the Vietnam War. Our nation was divided.

In my lifetime, the closest I felt we came to being united was after 9/11.

We have it in us to come together. We’ve done it before. At some point, we’ll no longer need a reason outside of us. The costs of world wars, terrorist acts, and natural disasters have been too high.

We’ve taken steps along the path because we have goodness within us.

Believing and Hope for the Best in Humanity

Dr. Robert Muller, the late Assistant Secretary General to the United Nations, was known as the “optimist in residence” according to one member in, Most of All They Taught Me Happiness ©1978 (reprinted in 2005). His life was not easy—from living in war-torn nations to going hungry and being imprisoned. Yet, he chose to live with hope amidst despair. His second wife, Barbara Gaughen-Muller was also one of our featured caregivers.

We Are the World

In 1985, Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie collaborated to perform, We Are the World, with other celebrated artists to raise funds for African famine relief. In 2010, they performed their hit once more to raise funds for earthquake-devastated Haiti.

There comes a time
When we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying…

Hands Across America

In May of 1986, millions of us donated to homelessness and hunger as we held hands in symbolic chain of unity in Hands Across America. I was in Chicago at a conference at the time, and stood at the Chicago Museum of Art.

There comes a time
When we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
Oh, and it’s time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all

“No matter who you are or where you come from, we are all united through music.”

Enjoy a few minutes of thought-provoking respite with this remake of Peace Train, a half-century later.

Space. Seeking a Future Far Far Away?

Today, two of the world’s richest, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, are in a race to explore space. I often wonder, does our need to explore come from our desire to fly away from something or to something. Regarding space exploration, I asked an astrophysicist. He explained, “The human race needs to explore in order to ensure our survival.”

Yet, until we clean up our act here at home… until we heed and apply the lines from the peace anthems of the 1970s, we will continue to fight. We will continue to pollute. Consider this: Before we visit Mars, we need to clean up our mess at home.

The post 50 Years Ago. Humanity. Together. Earth. Home. first appeared on The Caregivers Voice.

Back To Blog