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Song of the Week

29 March 2010



Songs A friend of mine called me crying today. She wanted to thank me for the beautiful CD I had given her and to tell me she loved David Archuleta and his beautiful voice. She went on to say that she was house-cleaning to his music that morning and was so “absolutely moved and touched by him,” that he was in her soul! I love it when I hear that. It is exactly the way I feel. She gets it…no, I take that back, she gets David!

I had introduced my friend to David this past Christmas when I gave her his album Christmas from the Heart. She called as soon as she had heard all of it and thanked me over and over. She had not realized what an amazing singer he is. Oh, had she been missing out!

Later when I was able to get an extra free ticket to David’s Christmas concert at Foxwoods MGM Grand Theater, I knew I had to bring her with me. We had such a wonderful time that evening hearing David perform live. My friend was absolutely blown away by David and his talent—no surprises there! She loved the performance of one song in particular; it brought her to tears. So when I found shared downloads of the Foxwoods concert, (I was able to get all the performances from the show we had attended in December), I made my dear friend a CD of the concert. The recordings were amazing and such a wonderful memory that we both share.

When she called me this morning, I knew exactly what the song was that had again brought her to tears. It does the same thing to me every time I hear it!

The Song of the Week is…

“Prayer of the Children”

“Prayer of the Children” was written by Kurt Bestor, an American composer, arranger, and performer, and arranged by Andrea S. Klouse. Bestor wrote the song in the early 1990s, after learning about the civil war that had overtaken Yugoslavia. To him, that war felt personal.

In the 1970s Kurt Bestor had served in Serbia as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He had lived among people of many races and religions: Serbians, Muslims, Croatians. His mission in Serbia so greatly affected him that twenty years later when a new civil war broke out, and Yugoslavia split into warring factions among Serbs, Croatians and Bosnians, Kurt’s thoughts returned to all the people he had met so many years earlier. He especially remembered the faces of the children he had known. So affected by the tragedy and devastation, he was inspired to write a song in tribute to the children, the innocent ones who suffered the most from the war. “Those children didn’t hate anybody,” Bestor told Meridian Magazine in March 2001. “They didn’t care about who owned the land, or who had the power or the money. These are adult neuroses. They just wanted to have a mom and dad and a place to play.”

On his website, The Bestor Chronicles in 2005, Bestor described how he came to write the song:

“Having lived in this war-torn country back in the late 1970s, I grew to love the people with whom I lived. It didn’t matter to me their ethnic origin – Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian – they were all just happy fun people to me and I counted as friends people from each region. Of course, I was always aware of the bigotry and ethnic differences that bubbled just below the surface, but I always hoped that the peace this rich country enjoyed would continue indefinitely. Obviously that didn’t happen.

“When Yugoslavian President Josip Broz Tito died, different political factions jockeyed for position and the inevitable happened – civil war. Suddenly my friends were pitted against each other. Serbian brother wouldn’t talk to Croatian sister-in-law. Bosnian mother disowned Serbian son-in-law and so it went. Meanwhile, all I could do was stay glued to the TV back in the US and sink deeper in a sense of hopelessness.

“Finally, one night I began channeling these deep feelings into a wordless melody. Then little by little I added words….Can you hear….? Can you feel……? I started with these feelings – sensations that the children struggling to live in this difficult time might be feeling. Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian children all felt the same feelings of confusion and sadness and it was for them that I was writing this song.”

Here is Kurt Bestor singing his song “Prayer of the Children.” The second to last line is sung in Croatian. This is a very powerful video, with many moving and disturbing images. Nonetheless, a very beautiful version by Kurt.

~“Prayer of the Children”
music and lyrics by Kurt Bestor

Can you hear the prayer of the children
on bended knee, in the shadow of an unknown room?

Empty eyes with no more tears to cry
turning heavenward toward the light.

Crying, “Jesus, help me
to see the morning light of one more day,
but if I should die before I wake,
I pray my soul to take.”

Can you feel the hearts of the children
aching for home, for something of their very own.

Reaching hands with nothing to hold onto
but hope for a better day, a better day.

Crying, “Jesus, help me
to feel the love again in my own land,
but if unknown roads lead away from home,
give me loving arms, ‘way from harm.”
(Ooohhh, ooohh,……….)

Can you hear the voice of the children
softly pleading for silence in their shattered world?

Angry guns preach a gospel full of hate,
blood of the innocent on their hands.

Crying, “Jesus, help me
to feel the sun again upon my face?
For when darkness clears, I know you’re near,
bringing peace again.”

Dali čujete sve dječje molitve?
Can you hear the prayer of the children?

David Archuleta performing “Prayer of the Children” at the Foxwoods MGM, for a Billboard ‘Live’ Show on December 17, 2009.

Here’s to a good week all! May you always be able to count your many blessings, be grateful, and do whatever you can to give a little something to those in need. 😉
Take care,

Listen to Song of Last Week.

David Archuleta, the Voice

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2 responses so far ↓

  • rose (unregistered) | 29th March 2010 at 7:59 am |

    I just listened to all the renditions of “Prayer of the Children” posted here. They are absolutely beautiful, all of them. Thank you so much.

  • 3cota | 1 | 29th March 2010 at 1:49 pm |

    Once again I am amazed at how far David’s beautiful and soulful voice reaches… from you to your friend to many other countries… uplifting everyone in so many different ways.

    And your video collection this year really did reach many of those places. Thanks. I enjoyed hearing this song again. David is such a wonderful person and I am so glad that I know of him.