from a distance From a distance the world looks blue and green
And the snow-capped mountains white
From a distance the ocean meets the stream
And the eagle takes to flight
From a distance there is harmony
And it echoes through the land
It’s the voice of hope, it’s the voice of peace
It’s the voice of every man

From a distance we all have enough
And no one is in need
And there are no guns, no bombs and no disease
No hungry mouths to feed
From a distance we are instruments
Marching in a common band
Playing songs of hope, playing songs of peace
They are the songs of every man

From a distance you look like my friend
Even though we are at war
From a distance I just cannot comprehend
What all this fighting’s for
From a distance there is harmony
And it echoes through the land
It’s the hope of hopes, it’s the love of loves
It’s the heart of every man

This song, written by  Julie Gold, is usually sung with a chorus that repeats the words “God is watching us…from a distance.” I excluded them above because I  think a reference to God in an anti-war song in 2003, on the verge of a war where both sides claim to have God on their side, is an ironic distraction from the important message of the song. And also, one of the people who transcribed these lyrics for an Internet lyric service admitted that instead of “God is watching us”, he thought, even more ironically, that the words of the chorus were “bodies washing up.”
Photo from NASA Earth Observatory.

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2 Responses to FROM A DISTANCE

  1. Thanks for leaving out the chorus. Theologically, the idea that God is watching us from a distance is pure heresy. Christian or Muslim, Jew or Buddhist, Zoroastrian or Druid, one thing central to all religions is that God dwells within each of us. Putting God at a distance is what enables us to contemplate murdering our fellow humans in whom God also dwells.

  2. Dave Pollard says:

    Now you’ve got me thinking about it, I wonder if Ms. Gold wasn’t making a point by implying, perhaps too subtly, that God is distancing him/herself from us as punishment for distancing ourselves from the moral imperatives staring us in the face. Naah, on second thought that would be just too ironic. Great song, though.

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