“Let There Be Peace on Earth, and Let It Begin with Me”: the story of this song and the lyrics

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“Let There Be Peace on Earth, and Let It Begin with Me” Sy Miller and Jill Jackson were a husband and wife songwriting team. In 1955 they wrote a song about their dream of peace for the world and how they believed each one of us could help create it.

Lyrics

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me
Let There Be Peace on Earth
The peace that was meant to be

With God as our Father
Brothers all are we
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now.

With ev’ry step I take
Let this be my solemn vow
To take each moment and live
Each moment in peace eternally
Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me

Songwriters: Jill Jackson / Sy Miller

The story of this song:

 

A SONG OF PEACE

One summer evening in 1955, a group of 180 teenagers of all races and religions, meeting in a workshop high in the mountains, locked arms, formed a circle and sang a song of peace. They felt that singing the song with its simple basic sentiment – “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me,” helped create a climate for world peace and understanding.
When they came down from the mountain, these inspired young people brought the song with them and started sharing it. And, as though on wings “Let There be Peace on Earth” began an amazing journey around the globe.
This song, written by *Frater Sy Miller and his wife *Soror Jill Jackson Miller, travelled first of course, back with their young campers, first back to their own homes and schools, churches and clubs.
Then the circle started by the teenagers began to grow. Soon the song was being sung in all fifty states – at school graduations, PTA meetings, at Christmas and Easter gatherings and as part of the celebration of Brotherhood Week. It was a theme for Veteran’s Day, Human Rights Day and United Nation’s day, 4H clubs and the United Auto Workers sang it; so did the American Legion, B’nai B’rith, Kiwanis Clubs, and CORE. It was taped, recorded, copied, printed in song books, and passed by word of mouth.
The song spread overseas to Holland, England France, Germany, and Lebanon – to South America, Asia and Australia. The Maoris in New Zealand sang it; also the Zulus in Africa.
Professional singers took it up including some of the brightest stars in the musical world. Miss Pearl Bailey says: “When the spotlight narrows down to my face and I sing Let There be Peace on Earth, there’s not another sound in the house.” Eddie Albert has made a wonderful recording of this song in his album “High Upon A Mountain.”
The song began to win awards. “Let There be Peace on Earth” was awarded the George Washington Honor Medal by the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge for “Outstanding achievement in helping to bring about a better understanding of the American way of life” It also received a Brotherhood Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews.
This simple thought “Let There be Peace on Earth, and Let it begin with me.” First born on a mountain top in the voices of youth, continues to travel heart to heart -gathering in people everywhere who wish to become a note in a song of understanding and peace – peace for all mankind.
Rosicrucian Digest 1966

Ralph Maxwell Lewis

(Story posted with written permission)

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Anita Bowden says:

    A very beautiful, powerful, and inspiring song! I remember being really inspired by it as a child in 3rd or 4th grade as we learned to sing it in class in a DOD (Department of Defense) School on a military base! The song stayed with me through my life, and it wasn’t until many years later, after becoming a Rosicrucian, that I learned that the song had been written by a Rosicrucian.! 🌹❤️ Thank you for sharing this post, Amira! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is an amazing story and it was thanks to you that told me about the origins of this song that drove me to search for the story which is so inspirational! So, this post is thanks to you dear friend! Thank you 🙂
      🌹 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow; I remember this song of my earlier days but had no idea how it got started; very encouraging and prayerful in our tumultuous season in our country; thanks for sharing this!

    Like

    1. Thank you so much! I am so glad you enjoyed the story, and yes you are right, it’s just perfect for our current times! Sending love and peace your way, Amira ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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