About ten years ago I was approached by the headteacher of a primary school in Clacton, with the idea that I should write a ‘Global Anthem’ for the school celebrating togetherness and understanding between countries.
Clacton, a seaside resort on the eastern edge of Essex, is in an ‘Educational Priority Area’ which meant, at least at that time, there was extra funding from the British Council available for projects for schools in deprived areas. The school had decided to use the funding to arrange a visit to a school in Clacton’s ‘twin town’ in Germany, and to commission a song for both schools to sing, in both languages. (It is somewhat ironic that, more recently, Clacton became a stronghold of UKIP, the UK Independence Party).
I suggested that we made the text of the song from phrases suggested by the children themselves, and this project gave the children of both schools a real sense of ownership of the material. Then I put the words together, wrote the song, and provided them with a recording with a backing track.
It was fun to do, and also rewarding to give the young people the opportunity to visit another country and experience things they would have been unlikely to have done otherwise. The multi-lingual nature of the text may limit its use for other purposes, but as you can see and hear from the video, filmed in Germany, they sung it with gusto.
Here are some of the words of Our World/Unsere Welt:
We want a world of justice,
We want a world of happiness,
We want to look after our world:
For this world is full of people so great,
Ev’ry day we can find a new mate,
In our world.
Egal welche Hautfarbe wir haben, [No matter what colour your skin is] Egal, wer unsere Eltern sind, [No matter who your parents are] Egal wie wir ausseh’n jeder von uns, [No matter what you look like] Wie tellen uns die eine Welt, [Together we share one world] Uns’re Welt. [Our world] (etc.)
Peace looks as blue as the sky,
Peace sounds as calm as a sigh,
Peace feels as deep as the sea,
Peace is for you and for me!
I hope you enjoy the video, and the sense of life that the young people bring to the song. It’s not published – let me know if you would like the words and music.