When Charles Gibbs, executive director of United Religions Initiative, asked me to play an Interfaith song in 1998 at a URI Charter-writing Summit at Stanford University, I wondered - what to play?! What music and lyrics would people from all religions and spiritual, indigenous traditions around the world want to sing together? I kept asking, and people started suggesting good examples. They started talking about composing new songs for the interfaith community to share.
Assembling and publishing a new kind of songbook is a daunting task. The challenge was picked up by a URI Cooperation Circle dedicated to music and the arts, the first project of a group with members on three continents. The Interfaith Center at the Presidio in San Francisco agreed to publish the first edition, and we were off and running. Dozens of original compositions were written, some for the songbook, others because people gathered in places like East Africa or North America liked singing surprising new lyrics set to familiar tunes.
So here is our modest first attempt at a magnificent notion - the idea of singing about hope, peace, and love with millions of brothers and sisters from every branch of the human family. With the hope that this book serves the cause of peace among religions, it is warmly dedicated to everyone making that dream come true all around our war-weary world. May peace and songs of peace prevail on Earth!
Jack W. Lundin, Editor
Sonoma, California, USA
June 1, 2002
Click below to see the full songbook in PDF format.