Saturday, May 1, 2010

Anzac Day Tragedy - Tribute Memorial

When I was 10 years old, I sang in the children's choir backing Barry McGuire in a TearFund concert. One of his solos was "Last Farewell" by Randy Sparks, fellow New Christy Minstrels musician. The song spoke so deeply to my heart that I remembered it and sang it to myself many times as I grew up.

Grown up and given the opportunity to perform in an Anzac Day concert, I chose "Last Farewell" as part of my program. Wanting to check that I'd remembered the lyrics correctly, I contacted Barry McGuire and he put me in touch with Randy Sparks.

Guys, here's a recording of that 2007 event rehearsal used as backing for a memorial tribute to the Anzac Day tragedy in New Zealand in 2010. I still love the song. One day I'll do an even better job with it, I promise.

by Randy Sparks

I’m going away at eventide
Across the wild and windy sea.
I bid you stay, stay here by my side
And share a last farewell with me.

Through snowclad mountains proud and tall
Or a thousand miles ‘cross the burning sand,
Our last farewell then will I recall
When I’m alone in a far off land.

A wandering song is all I know,
Yet I love you more, more than words can tell.
I hear the call and I’m bound to go.
I leave you now with a last farewell.

If you asked me why am I affected by this tragedy, why do I care about the deaths of people I didn't know, I would answer:

"No man is an Island, entire of it self; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."
John Donne: Meditation XVII

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