Peace Songbook


By Jon Gailmor

in Dirt by Jon Gailmor

©Jon Gailmor, Green Linnet Music (ASCAP) 1983

Kids have taught me much more, over the years, than I could ever impart to them. This song represents an example of the lessons I've learned. Here are three letters from kids to their leaders, in Jordan, Russia and the U.S.A. Children could, and hopefully will, write much more eloquently than I.


Dear Your Royal Highness:

I was seven in May and I live in Amman and I am wondering. Yesterday, I heard the planes, and somebody told me we hate the Israelis. Should I hate them, too? I'm smart in school. I'm a good soccer goalie and I can sing songs. I'm learning to cook. I can't wait to be older so I can smoke pipes and drive cars like Papa. But I don't know, 'cause everybody's mad about oil and missiles and fighting and nobody's talking about growing up, except me. That's why I'm scared.

Your friend, Moustafa


Dear Mr. Premier:

I am Tanya. I am eight and I live with my mama and my sister and Sasha, my cat. My father's in the army. He's never in Kiev, so he writes long letters where he's guarding the border to save us from China. I love the cosmonauts and ballet dancers floating in space. I love to watch swimming and track on TV. I want to be a baker when I'm big. But all the children here are worried, 'cause all their fathers are worried. Is there gonna be a war, Premier? Please tell me. I want to know. I'm happy. That's why I'm scared.

Sincerely, Tanya


Dear Mr. President:

I'm in fourth grade. How are you? I'm fine, all except I'm scared. Yesterday, the man on TV said we're building big bombs that kill kids like me and grown-ups like Grandpa. I live in Vermont, I go swimming in summer, the leaves turn in the fall. Then the snow's great for sledding, Dad gets grumpy in April, but I love to bake mud pies and I'm learning ukulele. But sir, please tell me, should I finish my vegetables so I'll be big and strong, just like my dad, even if everybody's dead from the bombs? That's why I'm scared.

David, age 9

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