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A Memorial Song for a Strong Woman

Lately, this song has come to mind for a couple of memorial services I’ve co-created with families, for very strong women who inhabited their Mother Archetype with a fierce tenderness. It is an entrancing arrangement to me, composed by Bobby McFerrin. I love the passage as it stands on its own, although this gives a whole fresh breath of life into the healing qualities of the phrases. If you have ever given your voice to acapella song, you can appreciate this group’s harmonies:

The lyrics push thought boundaries as ‘he’ is replaced with ‘she’ in the Psalm’s wording — and some people bristle at this. However, it is a song McFerrin dedicated to his mother and her enduring love. A Mother’s love is for some people, the source of life, similar to the love of God (if belief in God is present). I offer this as an option for anybody who can think beyond the boundaries of he or she, beyond God having a gender. All it takes is simply relating to the divinity of LOVE. Here are the lyrics:

The Lord is my Shepard, I have all I need,
She makes me lie down in green meadows,
Beside the still waters, She will lead.

She restores my soul, She rights my wrongs, 
She leads me in a path of good things,
And fills my heart with songs.

Even though I walk, through a dark and dreary land,
There is nothing that can shake me,
She has said She won’t forsake me,
I’m in her hand.

She sets a table before me, in the presence of my foes,
She anoints my head with oil, 
And my cup overflows.

Surely, surely goodness and kindness will follow me,
All the days of my life,
And I will live in her house,
Forever, forever and ever.

Glory be to our Mother, and Daughter,
And to the Holy of Holies,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be,
World, without end. Amen

By, Bobby McFerrin

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