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!"
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
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"
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
Our songs for children about peace and justice, resolving conflicts, and celebrating our global family are more important than ever in these troubled times. These Peace Resources are intended to help us all move forward with hope and tools for song and action as we work together to build a healthier, more peaceful world.
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