Words by Charles Lippy, ’68 Music by Harvey Burgett, ‘68
From Harlem’s heights we saw a world where hope might conquer rage.
Our struggle then for lives fulfilled wrought far too feeble change.
The subway hummed; the streets were filled. This city–now our home!
While others forced the throngs away, we spread our arms in welcome.
And we sang
Here we caught the vision–new heavens, new earth.
Make haste! Come! We must aid its birth!
To justice, faith, freedom, peace, and love for all we made a vow.
The world needed us then; even more it needs us now.
So we sing
From the Mekong to the Mississippi, injustice reigned supreme.
And a bullet tried to silence Dr. King’s inspired dream.
Racism, that Agent Orange of the soul,
Still corrodes our hope, still extracts a human toll.
But through it all we sing
Gothic grandeur graced our work and play, while Niebuhr’s preaching led the way.
The organ’s majesty, music’s might, nudged us into freedom’s light.
We came to learn, to find what’s true; no Box can God contain.
Yet simple answers still elude; where God is, mystery remains.
And so, in awe we sing
The years have passed, death has taken its toll.
Our world still cries to be made whole.
The stranger beckons; the poor, they shout; the hungry moan in pain.
The homeless wail; we labor on, but little seems the gain.
And still we sing
Our words are sometimes misused; our gifts are often abused.
We are exhausted, disillusioned, confused.
Yet faith forms anew midst stress and strife
To urge us on to peace, to love, to joy, to life.
And so we sing! We sing! We must sing