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Sunday, March 5

"Harvest for the World"

The Isley Brothers. 1976. Here is the instrumental part. Here is the part with lyrics.   

This is a difficult song. On the one hand the lyrics are a polemic against the worst in humanity, on the other an exalted anthem --  celebrate your life, give thanks for your children.

What bridges these conflicted themes is the beauty of the melody and musical arrangement -- and the lilting singing of lead vocalist Ronald Isley and his brothers. Yes of course they were raised singing church music. 

All babies together, everyone a seed
Half of us are satisfied, half of us in need
Love is bountiful in us, tarnished by our greed
When will there be a harvest for the world?

A nation planted, so concerned with gain
As the seasons come and go, greater grows the pain
And far too many feeling the strain
When will there be a harvest for the world?

Gather every man, gather every woman
Celebrate your lives
Give thanks for your children
Gather everyone, gather all together
Overlooking none, hoping life gets better for the world

Dress me up for battle when all I want is peace
Those of us who pay the price come home with the least
Nation after nation turning into beasts
When will there be a harvest for the world?

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