Peace Songbook


Music and lyrics by Jenny & David Heitler-Klevans

©2009 Jenny & David Heitler-Klevans

This song was commissioned by Peacemakers: The New Generation, and it appears in their new book.  The concept of "Pitfalls" is the behaviors or actions that get in the way of resolving a conflict.  "Pitfalls" is also an acronym, and we put this into the Bridge of the song.

We heard a great story from the parents of a 3-year-old who knew this song: Her parents were arguing one morning, and she said, "Mommy, Daddy - it's time for you to step into the circle of peace!"


(Verse 1:)
It had been a bad day, and nothing was right
Then you were rude to me, and we started to fight
I shoved you and began to shout
You hit me back, then someone said "Time out!"

Pitfall, pitfall - what a mistake
Pitfall, pitfall - time to take a break
We’ve got to talk to each other, so the fighting will cease
It’s time to step into the Circle of Peace

(Verse 2:)
You called me a snob, so I said, "That’s a lie!"
You said, "You better stop, or I’ll make you cry!"
"It’s all your fault that we’re in this mess"
"That’s not true - we should both confess"    


(Verse 3:)
You wouldn’t listen to me when I tried to explain
But it seemed quite clear that we both were to blame
If we don’t interrupt, we can each have our say
We’ll talk it out and have a better day (and find a better way)    


(Bridge - rap:)
P: pushing, hitting - causing violence and fear
I: interrupting - so that no one can hear
T is threatening - to make people scared
F: failing to listen to the feelings that are shared
A: avoiding taking due responsibility
L: labeling or calling names - it hurts you and me
L: lying or exaggerating - truth cannot come out
S: screaming doesn’t help - let’s talk instead of shout

It’s time to step into the Circle of Peace.

  • Act out the song
  • Do a role-play activity of a different conflict, and how to resolve it peacefully
  • Make cards or posters of each letter of "Pitfalls" to hold up during the bridge

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