At the Intersection of Music and Tragedy



At the Intersection of Music and Tragedy Rev. Jason Shelton composed “Love Break Our Hearts” in response to the violence in Charlottesville. Holly Near wrote “We are Gentle, Angry People” in response to the assassination of Harvey Milk. Emma’s Revolution has been singing “Keep on Moving Forward” at rallies and marches across the country for more than three decades. And, a new hymn by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette making its way around Facebook is titled, “If We Just Talk of Thoughts and Prayers.”

We are truly singing for our lives. Music helps to bring comfort, express our broken hearts, build strength, encourage resilience, and inspire action. These composers live at the intersection of music and tragedy. I think maybe we all do.

As I watch survivors of the Florida school shooting march toward their state capitol this morning, I am wondering what songs will keep them moving forward. More importantly, I am energized by their commitment to action. May we all move beyond “thoughts and prayers” to find concrete ways to directly respond in the aftermath of tragedy. And may music continue to be a source of comfort, strength, and inspiration to build the beloved community.

Share your thoughts. Make some music. Be the change. May it be so.


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Westside Unitarian Universalist Church

616 Fretz Road

Knoxville, TN 37934

(865) 777-9882

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