Album:America - A Purple Song

California / June 15, 2012 / by Chris

After we released our story on Purple Songs Can Fly, the founder Anita forwarded us an amazing email from a viewer who was inspired by the story of Purple Songs:

What a beautiful message. I have been inspired by Purple Songs Can Fly since Rod first introduced me to the project, but the Bus 52 video brought it home for me.

I was in the middle of working on a new poem (I like to write poems) when I saw the video. The video merged with the inspiration that gave life to the poem. In particular, the words of Tony Alvarez in the video inspired me and connected with the poem that I was working on.  Here is what emerged.


Grace & peace,
Mark Waters

The poem was gorgeous, a fitting tribute to a great organization. As our film inspired Mark, his poem inspired me to write this piece of music. It's not a setting of the poem so much as a realization of it in musical form. The poem itself makes up the video, but the full text is:


Behind every brow
Is a never-ending story
Weaving tales of
Within every heart
Are Trail-worn stories
Seeking a place that is

I recorded some songs
Said the smiling child
Whose purple songs
Now fly.
I recorded some songs,
And now I’m just recording
My life. 

Stories wander home
To dwell in the hearts
That lived them
Where they
Narrate plots of life
Where they
Grieve or celebrate
The everyday pathos
Of meaning 

Stories wander home
To be sung
To be formed
In musical ecstasy
So they can express
Joy and sorrow
So the life story
Will fly,
Will soar in purple hues,
The colorful rainbow
Of song. 

Tell me your story, I said,
In the innocence of
A child at bedtime.
And the tale that
Emerged on the lips
Of the suffering
Told the story
That created the world