Today 21 June (2007), the day of the summer solstice, is World Music Day as well as World Peace & Prayer Day.
To commemorate this day, I have created this Sacred Songs site. I like to think that sacred chants and songs are the soil of which all melody and singing are formed.
I have no musical training or knowledge. But from an early age, I have heard, loved and sung all kinds of songs. I started composing and singing devotional songs and chants in 1995, and as I was also studying sacred texts from different faiths, I also began setting to melody verses from sacred texts. All the songs from across the world, all the texts of different faiths, only harmonised in my consciousness.
Sacred songs - was a very personal engagement for me, something deeply fulfilling, in itself. I felt I was essentially a minstrel. I had the opportunity to share my songs with small audiences in different places, and was encouraged by their appreciation.
I wanted to share my small repertoire of songs through the internet, but with none of these having been properly recorded, and having been unable to find other musicians to help me make something of the songs - I shall try to present songs and chants in others' voices.
The songs I put up - are limited by my own (aural) awareness, and what's availabile (or rather, what I was able to find) on the internet. This is a tiny, personal compilation. All kinds of sacred songs, chants and expressions, of different faiths and peoples, are absent here. So I hope this site will be a means for me to grow in every way.
I hope singers and musicians would find this of interest. But more than that, I wish hearing these songs would enable ordinary people to feel roused, and sing. I have tried to accompany the various songs with some explanation, plus the lyrics, transcriptions and translations wherever possible.
I wish families, and friends, will find particular songs that they like, and want to learn and sing / perform these together.
This site's existence is entirely dependent on a vast web of resources, shared altruistically by so many organisations, enterprises and individuals. Hence I cannot but express my gratitude to all of them. I would be glad and grateful to get comments, suggestions and advice from visitors to this site.
May all living beings, everywhere, be well!
Here's a prayer for Peace (Shanti).
Image: Sculpture, Sacred Songs, by Bob Piercey.