Let There Be Peace on Earth

Dear Reader:

I think I remember telling you about my Ya friend, Libby, who has given the rest of us Ya’s the gift of music to help us through this pandemic. She selects a song and then surprises us with it…sending a video of her playing the selection on her piano.

It is uncanny how the selection and timing are always perfect…the right song for the right moment. July 4th she selected ‘Let There Be Peace on Earth.’ (Since I was celebrating this important holiday with family…I didn’t see the video or hear the personal heartfelt message she gave before her performance until yesterday afternoon… As I finished unpacking and finally catching up on correspondence.)

Libby started out her message by mentioning how much she loved this country’s birthday of freedom celebration and how she was raised to hold patriotism near and dear to her heart. It was a time to remember those who sacrificed so much for us to have this day of family unity and appreciation of country.

But this year she felt that the holiday meant even more…it was a “different July 4.”  This holiday we are all facing the pandemic coronavirus together… along with civil unrest together. So there were several “P’s’ to remember beside just patriotism…”We need more prayer… we need peace.…individual peace, family peace, community peace, national and global peace.

***Libby, dear friend, you should be the “pin-up” gal to represent July 4, 2020…a picture tells the whole story! 🙂 You and your children and grandchildren will always remember this holiday with this photo.Perfect attire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Today we tend to associate the song “Let There Be Peace on Earth” with Christmas… but if you read any of the lyrics…this song was created to be played and sung any day of the year.

Let there be peace on earth, and let it be-gin with me.
Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be.
With God as Cre-a-tor, fam-ily all are we,
Let us walk with each o-ther, in per-fect har-mo-ny.
Let peace be-gin with me, let this be the mo-ment now.
With eve-ry step I take, let this be my joy-ous vow:
To take each mo-ment, and live each mo-ment in peace e-ter-nal-ly.
Let there be peace on earth, and let it be-gin with me.

This song became somewhat of  a peace movement melody sung by famous musical artists of the 60’s and 70’s folk music/ ballad age. During a radio interview the original writer, Jill Jackson (Miller) told her emotional story of how the song came to be.

“When I attempted suicide [in 1944] and I didn’t succeed,” she said, “I knew for the first time unconditional love—which God is. You are totally loved, totally accepted, just the way you are. In that moment I was not allowed to die, and something happened to me, which is very difficult to explain. I had an eternal moment of truth, in which I knew I was loved, and I knew I was here for a purpose.”

This realization was followed by years of exploring her spiritual nature and her relationship with God. Jackson discovered her love for writing, and began writing songs with Sy Miller after they married in 1949.

In 1955, she wrote the lyrics for “Let There Be Peace on Earth” while her husband wrote the melody. The song was introduced at a California retreat to a group of young people who were from a wide variety of religious, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

The young people had come together for a week long experience devoted to developing friendship and understanding through education, discussion and working together. The song’s focus on peace and God made it easy to cross many boundaries.

Sy Miller wrote about the effect of the song:

One summer evening in 1955, a group of 180 teenagers of all races and religions, meeting at a workshop high in the California 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 to 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. It traveled first, of course, with the young campers back to their homes and schools, churches and clubs.”

The song was taped, copied, printed in songbooks and passed by word of mouth. Eventually it spread overseas, sung by Maoris in New Zealand and Zulus in Africa.

The song has been recorded by a host of vocal artists including Tennessee Ernie Ford, Pat Boone, Mahalia Jackson, Johnny Mathis and Vincent Gill…among others.

It received the George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge for “Outstanding achievement in helping to bring about a better understanding of the American Way of Life.”

***Random House published a children’s book based on the lyrics and illustrations in 2009



So until tomorrow…“Let There be peace on earth…and let it begin with ME!” Amen.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

u-tube: Vincent Gill….Let There Be Peace on Earth

Look at my moon flowers climb!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Surprise…the Fourth keeps on going…Luke and Chelsey dropped off more barbecue fixin’s yesterday…..Loving  life…and loving Luke and Chelsey….thank you both…miss you both terribly!

The mountains always are so appealing in the summer….This scene was taken from a cabin in Elk Banner- just outside Boone, NC where Appalachian State is…Walsh and Mollie both attended this college but never met until Mollie decided to make Charleston her home when visiting here with her roommate from Charleston.

Now they have returned with family in tow…elusive time comes full circle!

And here’s our “family in tow.” 🙂

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to Let There Be Peace on Earth

  1. Gin-g Edwards says:

    So glad that Walsh and family got away especially to the mts of NC…my home sweet state. Suzy got home too…seems better…they put stents into the ducts in her liver,,,they were inflamed so hopefully that will keep her from getting jaundice again. The last time she got it was pretty scary. Loved the pictures of the grands and the song is one of my favorites…had no idea it was written in the 50s


    • Becky Dingle says:

      So glad Suzy is home again and pray the stints will work…that didn’t sound like a fun procedure! Am glad Walsh and Mollie could get away for a few days in the mts…they were so disappointed they had to cancel New Hampshire…going home for Mollie…they had planned to do a lot of hiking in the White Mts….but couldn’t take a chance with her parents health…COVID19 has raised its ugly head at NUCOR…and Walsh was tested and found negative…but then a team member was tested positive…so much uncertainty about what to do any more.


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