Larry Lesser’s “HEALING SONG”
to hear his song:
The keyboard-only version of "Healing Song" (with Ellen Wilson's vocals at http://www.sonicbids.com/band/ellenmwilson/audio/)
The guitar-piano-drum version (with Larry Bach's vocals) of "Healing Song" posted at either http://www.reverbnation.com/playlist/view_playlist/-4?page_object=artist_315444 or at http://openings.rabbilarrybach.com/tracks/06-healing-song/)
lyrics to “HEALING SONG”
May it be Your will that we will heal
Completely whole, body and soul.
And may we hear Your love through the fear:
We understand we’re in Your hands. Yai, dai-dai...
May we have
our share of future life
And may this prayer bring more light. Yai, dai-dai...
Attending several special ‘healing services’ shortly after moving to El Paso in 2004, songwriter Larry Lesser was moved to write his own “Healing Song.” The song concisely and deeply expresses the essence of Jewish prayer for healing in a way that gives the singer and listener abundant space to make their own connection – a connection that is both personal and communal and that ultimately goes beyond words, as reflected by the use of Chassidic niggun syllables in the chorus that have no literal semantic meaning. This song, like most Jewish prayers, is in the first person plural to emphasize our mutual responsibility and fates (see www.jewfaq.org/prayer.htm for further thoughts).
After tweaking the song in January 2008, Lesser showed it to UTEP voice faculty coloratura soprano Ellen Wilson, who then asked to record the song as the only previously unrecorded song on her debut CD, Songs of Ascent. “Healing Song” was featured prominently in a KTEP-FM “State of the Arts” interview (by Mónica Gómez) of Wilson and Lesser that aired fall 2008 and in a follow-up taped interview that aired about a year later. The song has been prominently used by congregations (e.g., Yom Kippur and other services at Temple Mount Sinai) and has been found to transcend denominational and faith lines. R. Larry Bach states that “Healing Song” is the most significant song on the CD and “deserves a place in the pantheon of healing music with the Mi Shebeirach settings of Friedman, Levine, and Sher.” While Lesser wrote the song with a fingerstyle guitar arrangement, he also loves the ambient piano-based version on Wilson’s CD produced by Scott Leader, which can be heard at: http://www.sonicbids.com/2/EPK/?epk_id=204767#!audio
With Lesser’s blessing, a beautiful new arrangement of “Healing Song” was recorded (by Scott Leader, Larry Bach, and Lisa Tzur) on March 18, 2010 at Phoenix’s Southwest Studios for use in a Bikkur Cholim (visiting the sick) initiative -- a Caring Community project of El Paso's Temple Mount Sinai. In a posting that same day to his blog, the congregation’s Rabbi Larry Bach described the song as “[combining] beautiful sounds with sound theology. Never straying into the realm of tefilah lashav (‘praying in vain’), it is equally appropriate as a public prayer for healing at Shabbat worship and at the bedside of a hospice patient.” On July 20, 2010 a post about “Healing Song” appeared at
http://thehealingmusecafe.blogspot.com/2010/07/healing-song-contemporary-jewish-prayer.html, on the official blog of the literary journal published by the Center for Bioethics and Humanities at SUNY Upstate Medical University. Larry Bach recorded yet another arrangement of the song in May 2013 for release later that year on his second solo CD, Openings:
http://www.reverbnation.com/playlist/view_playlist/-4?page_object=artist_315444 or http://openings.rabbilarrybach.com/tracks/06-healing-song/. A version is also posted at http://www.templemountsinai.com/Music.
Guitarists: the easy way is to put a capo on the third fret (or whatever fret best suits your vocal range) and choose from these “key of G” chords: G, C, D/F#, Emadd9