“It’s the Music Therapists’ anthem!” was my first reaction to discovering this song in Pam’s apartment. It depicts the depths to which music can help us heal, even in our dying.
I found just one computer-printed copy of the music which is covered with her handwritten notes, plus a rough, incomplete handwritten draft. The notes suggest to me that she performed the song at least once in circumstances that allowed her to also sing “Another Bright Star“, which she wrote for our mother’s funeral in 2014. The two songs depict different relationships with a dying person: one professional and one personal. The copyright date is 2007, but the performance must have been in or after 2014, by which time she had the software to make a computer copy.
The lyrics were published in 2018 by the Orleans Writing Group as a poem, reproduced below.
In a writing workshop in 2014 (apparently, as per the “Writers Block 2014” note in margin) Pam made note of some possible changes, presumably from feedback by another participant who didn’t like the two-syllable line endings. In particular, see the note in the margin: “Consider 1 syllable ending 2nd line.” On her printout of the music (reproduced below), it appears that she tried to apply the changes to the original tune. It seems that she made some edits to the poem version published by the Orleans Writing Group, which was used by Allison Calvern in her article about Pam.
I’m posting Pam’s marked-up version below for those who are interested. There’s also a clean version I made with the original words. The singer may choose which version they prefer. Miranda Lever sings the original words in the video below. Repeating the second section is another option. I hear an instrumental solo for the first part of the repeat, with the voice resuming at measure 26 as Miranda does, or measure 30.
I recorded my friend Miranda Lever performing the song in the same church in Mahone Bay where Pam (and all present) sang “Another Bright Star” at our mother’s Memorial Service. – HH
“Sing me a song, a song of love,” the dying man whispered softly.
He who allowed not the love of his friends,
With music, sweet music let love enter in,
And I sang of love’s tenderness, songs for his heart,
And the music opened him slowly.
“Sing me a song, a song of love,” the dying men beckoned me closer.
I carried him back to his fisherman days,
With songs of the ocean, being rocked on the waves.
With pebbles and sea shells again in his gaze,
The music opened him wider.
“Sing to me of love,” and amid angels’ wings,
We pondered together the deepest of things:
Remembering losses and fears of the night,
And passions of living when spirit takes flight.
“Sing me a song, one more song of love,” The dying man rattled horsely.
A song of hope from a mother’s breast
Like a beacon, drew his soul to its rest.
As the sun of his living reclined in the west,
The song of his life echoed softly.
Marked up lyrics
Marked up sheet music
Edited version published by Orleans Writing Group, 2018