Anna Bigland-Pritchard shares a song, and the experience that informs it

Iwrote this song as a method of processing what I was learning and hearing in a class I took this summer at the Canadian School of Peacebuilding. The class was about music and reconcilliation, and our professor was Fr. Ivo Markovic, a peace-builder from Bosnia. We heard an aboriginal analogy about a forest fire. There was a hummingbird, who was the only one trying to put out the fire, one drop of water at a time. It was better for the one hummingbird to do something even though the elephants could have put out the fire in one go if they had wanted to. Someone in our class said that he felt like a hummingbird, and that his wings are torched because he’d been trying to put out the fire for so long.

The French section is a reflection of a story told us, about a Muslim woman after the war in Bosnia, who couldn’t look a man in the face anymore when she talked to them. It is also a reference to the problem of a whole generation of kids born during and after the war who were conceived in rape.

After studying the situation in Bosnia, it was important to me to see how and believe in how music is a tool that can help people heal and grow.

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Hummingbird, your wings are torched
from dropping water on the fire
It keeps blazing while you work
and the elephants close their eyes


I want to see
I want to breath
I want to be
the music that heals


Femme avec peur
Les yeux qui ne veulent pas lui voir
Ton enfant est innocent
des choses qu’ont causé la guere


(Scared woman
eyes who don’t want to see him
your child is innocent
of the things that have caused war)


Je veux voir
Je veux savoir
Nous devons avoir
la musique qui guerisse


(I want to see
I want to know
We need to have
the music that heals)


Fear-ing flag-born child of christ
how you cover yourself with fear
you chase your siblings with guns
and forget that Jehovah lives here


I want to share
I want to spare
I want to dare
the music that heals


Butterfly, you lead me round
open my eyes to your world
you suffered much and suffer still
drenching your wings in our hurt


Though we are weak
We’ll work for peace
We need to seek
the music that heals

Words and music by Anna Bigland-Pritchard. The photograph is by Jay Siemens, and is used with permission.

One Response to Hummingbird

  1. Adeline Berg says:

    That is so beautiful, Anna. And Saturday night was also very meaningful!

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