If We Only Have Love, written by the Belgian singer-songwriter-actor-director, Jacques Brel, and used as the final song in the celebrated off-Broadway musical review, Jacques Brel Is Alive & Well & Living in Paris, will be our closing/sending song this coming Sunday, All Saints Sunday.
It is a rather poignant and powerful anthem celebrating the immense power of love to carry us through all manner of strife and unrest.
Thanks to Beth W., who sent this to me recently, requesting we sing it in worship one day, I decided it would be the perfect anthem with which to end our All Saint’s Day service AND also send us forward into the final moments before Election Day, and all the emotional and spiritual angst that surrounds this moment.
I see it as a means of sending us all into the world with deep hope and a reminder of our inherent resilience. I believe that as we honor the lives of so many beloveds in our community and in our world, this song’s lyrics touch upon the inextricable power of love that each of these souls were able to carry with them through the many challenges of life and how our witness to this love can carry us forward, with their memories in our hearts and souls. Just as we also remember the deep love and sacrifice Jesus made for us, singing this song enables us to imagine a world that is sustained and fed through this palpable essence of love energy, no matter how dark & gloomy things might feel.
I hope you will find even a morsel of strength and hope in the listening and the singing of this song as our choir members share it with you on Sunday.
*Sending Song (Jacques Brel)
If We Only Have Love
Singers: Sarah Sherr, Beth Walker, Kris Forrest, Madeline Forest, Corlis Gross, Adam Sherr, Richard Kalwaic
If we only have love, then tomorrow will dawn;
And the days of our years will rise on that morn.
If we only have love, to embrace without fears;
We will kiss with our eyes, we will sleep without tears.
If we only have love, with our arms open wide;
Then the young and the old will stand at our side.
If we only have love, love that’s falling like rain;
Then the parched desert earth will grow green again.
If we only have love, for the hymn that we shout;
For the song that we sing, then we’ll have a way out.
If we only have love, we can reach those in pain;
We can heal our wounds. We can use our own names.
If we only have love, we can melt all the guns; and then give the new world to our daughters and sons.
If we only have love, then Jerusalem stands;
And then death has no shadow; there are no foreign lands.
If we only have love, we will never bow down;
We’ll be tall as the pines, neither heroes nor clowns.
If we only have love, we will only be men;
And we’ll drink from the Grail, and be born once again.
Then with nothing at all, but the little we are;
We’ll have conquered all time, all space, the sun, and the stars.