‘Prayer of the Children’

Three Dog Night — yes, the ’60s-’70s rock band of “One (Is the Loneliest Number)” fame — performed in Pensacola, Fla, last night. After more than an hour spent running through their “book” of hits from years gone by, they returned to the stage and silenced the crowd with an a capella rendition of Kurt Bestor’s haughtingly moving song “Prayer of the Children.”

Before sharing their heart-wrenching signature harmonies on this deeply thought-provoking song, they asked us to set aside our politics, our prejudices and listen carefully to the words Bestor wrote after witnessing what the Yugoslavian civil war did to the children of that country decades ago.

Since Bestor wrote it in the 1990s, numerous choirs and performers have delivered its message to audiences around the world. Three Dog Night’s rendition of the song following the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut is available on You Tube. It’s well-worth the three-plus minutes it takes to listen to their version of Bestor’s musical plea to humankind.

His message resonates today when gun violence kills innocent school children in our country or when children of parents seeking asylum are held in cages at our south western border or even when American tax dollars provide military support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, something both houses of Congress have voted to end.

If after listening to it or reading the lyrics below you can’t set aside your anger, your hatred for people you don’t agree with and focus on the impact your words and actions have on the children of the world, I would suggest you don’t have a heart.

Thank you, Three Dog Night for sharing this song with your followers and audiences seen and not seen. Thank you, Kurt Bestor for sharing your thoughts in words and music with the world. Bless you.

Lyrics: Prayer of the Children

Can you hear the prayer of the children?

On bended knee, in the shadow of an unknown room
Empty eyes with no more tears to cry
Turning heavenward toward the light

Crying softly, help me
To see the morning light-of one more day
But if I should die before I wake,
I pray my soul to take

Can you feel the hearts of the children?
Aching for home, for something of their very own
Reaching hands, with nothing to hold on to,
But hope for a better day a better day

Crying softly, help me
To feel the love again in my own land
But if unknown roads lead away from home,
Give me loving arms, away from harm

Can you hear the voice of the children?
Softly pleading for silence in a shattered world?
Angry guns preach a gospel full of hate,
Blood of the innocent on their hands

Crying softly, help me
To feel the sun again upon my face,
For when darkness clears I know you’re near,
Bringing peace again

Dali cujete sve djecje molitive?
(Croatian translation:
‘Can you hear all the children’s prayers?’)
Can you hear the prayer of the children?

3 thoughts on “‘Prayer of the Children’

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s