Mantra (aka "We Need Love")



Winner in in the Folk Category of the John Lennon songwriting contest. A song about peace, justice, kindness, love and freedom...

With this song, I attempted to write in the vein of the great 60's protest songs while I was living in NYC just after 9/11. The first verse was inspired by the documentary “Under the Veil”—about the Taliban’s abuse of Afghani women. This verse and chorus ultimately calls for the liberation of women from any and all oppression. The second verse came to me when I saw that homelessness in NY was as bad as it had ever been. I thought it distressing that while American citizens proved themselves to be so generous with their time and money in relation to the World Trade Center tragedy, they seemed less generous when it comes to long-term tragedies like homelessness. I juxtapose the image of a starving man on the street with that of Americans over-fed with lies from our press and our government. In the final verse, I am commenting on the hypocrisy of the Christian Right, whose leaders actually blamed “gays,and feminists,” for 9/11, claiming it was God’s punishment for liberals’ evil-doing. These extremists see recent tragedies – 9/11, AIDS epidemic, natural disasters-- as evidence of the Second Coming and actually welcome Armageddon. They believe that they will be “saved” simply because they are “believers.” It is my belief that only positive, humane, progressive ACTION will save any of us in the here and now. Corporate greed is out of control, the Earth is rapidly deteriorating, and the warmongers in our government and citizenry are beating the drum that will send many innocents—Americans and non-Americans—to their graves. Hence, I call for Justice and Peace. And ultimately, I call for Love. When I say that I am love, and that You are love, I am referring to the fact that change begins within, one person at a time. As Mahatma Gandhi said "Be the change you want to see in the world."


In a place far from heaven
Where the blue ghosts fly
A woman's underneath
And she's terrified
But her spirit is stronger than
Any woman-hating man
She needs freedom…

On a sidewalk in winter
In the greatest city
A man lies on the ground
Tryin' to get some zzzz's
And while we're fed a million lies
He goes hungry every night
He needs kindness…

Now I do not believe
In what the Bible beaters say
That the famines, plagues and floods
And the fiery skies
mean the end is near
and I do not believe
That in order to be saved
All you got to do is say that you believe
And sit back
and watch your Profit margins grow
And watch your Mother Earth implode
And watch the children burn and moan
While living in your combat zone
Now don't you misconstrue
I say we've all got our work to do...

We need justice
We need kindness
We need freedom
We need peace
We need love
I am love
You are love
It's all up to you
It's all up to me
It's all up to us...