Sunday, August 2, 2015

"Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream" performed by Alicia Bay Laurel • Upcoming concerts in Tokyo on Aug. 4 & Hiroshima on Aug. 8

Via our friend—artist, writer, and musician Alicia Bay Laurel—who has 2 more concerts upcoming (in Tokyo and Hiroshima) in this year's tour of Okinawa and Japan:

What it looks and sounds like when we all sing the great peace visionary song, "Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream," together in English and Nihongo. Thank you Hikaru Hamada for making this video last July 11th at Art Cafe Nafsha in Awajishima! Akiko Itagaki is translating for me.

Alicia on video:
This song was written at the end of World War II by an American peace activist. His name was Ed McCurty. He wrote this song as he was reacting in horror to the bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Even though I was very active against the war in Vietnam, I only became aware this year that there was  a huge antiwar movement in the US during World War II. The people who were for peace had a hard time getting heard because the government and corporations were all wanting the war.

So they started a whole group of radio stations across the United States: Peace Radio. All of those radio stations are still broadcasting now...They're called Pacifica Radio...When I was growing up in the 1950s, that was the radio being played by my parents. That's where I heard this song the first time...

When I came to Japan, I realized I needed to sing this song, not just play it. I needed to sing it in Nihon-go and I needed to sing it in Nihon-go at Hiroshima because Hiroshima's tragedy is what inspired this song...Please join us in HIroshima if you can."

"Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream" by Ed McCurty

Last night I had the strangest dream
I ever dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war
I dreamed I saw a mighty room
The room was filled with men
And the paper they were signing said
They'd never fight again
And when the papers all were signed
And a million copies made
They all joined hands end bowed their heeds
And grateful prayers were prayed
And the people in the streets below
Were dancing round and round
And guns and swords and uniforms
Were scattered on the ground
Last night I had the strangest dream
I ever dreamed before
I dreamed the world had all agreed
To put an end to war
This coming Sunday, August 8,  Alicia will perform at a Peace Concert that begins at 2:30 p.m. at Hiroshima Nagaregawa Church. (Reverend Kiyoshi Tanimoto, an alumni of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and a central figure in John Hersey's book, Hiroshima, led the rebuilding of this historic church after it was completely destroyed by the August 6, 1945 nuclear bombing of Hiroshima.)

(Directions and details at Alicia's website:

"Peace Girl" by Alicia Bay Laurel

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