Thoughts in the Month of March

When every woman in the world has her mind set on freedom

When every woman in the world dreams a sweet dream of peace

When every woman from every nation,

young and old, each generation

Joins hands in the name of love, there will be no more war.

This stirring song has become an Animaterra anthem. We close every rehearsal with it, and it provides a dramatic climax for our concerts. We feel it binds us together and strengthens us to go forth.

I have been searching for years to find out more information about the source of this song. A recent email from a friend gave me a link that has provided more than I had ever been able to find out before.

The following is quoted from a website of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations

If Every Woman in the World: From Karen MacKay’s deep connection to the living tradition of West Virginia women’s music; a tradition that, in Karen’s hands and voice, continues to be the means for perpetuating the simple ancient wisdom of mountain women. In 1982, suffering harassment at work and unsure of her life’s direction, Karen spent a weekend with “Aunt Jenny” and received the wisdom that has guided her life and music ever since. “Just git out there and play yer banjer. Git out there and play yer music and give ‘em all you’ve got!” Two weeks later Karen had quit her job. A year later she had written and recorded the songs on her first album, “Annie Oakley Rides Again.”

The final song on that album was If Every Woman in the World. Karen’s strong belief in the power of women to influence global culture and bring peace to the world found a deep expression in this song, and women all over the world have responded by passing it on from woman to woman, country to country. It has been sung at the 1985 International Women’s Conference in Nairobi, as well as at retreats and gatherings throughout Canada and the United States. It was included on the CD, O Beautiful Gaia, recorded by Carolyn McDade and the women of three different bioregions in Canada and the United States. The song’s current form incorporates three new verses written especially for its inclusion in this Unitarian Universalist (UU) hymnal supplement. If Every Woman in the World portrays a powerful dream of planetary peace that begins inside the heart of each person who sings it. The most important thing to remember in singing this music is to heed the simple wisdom of “Aunt Jenny” Wilson, “Just git out there…and give ‘em all you’ve got!”

** Substantial portions of the material included here were taken from Karen MacKay’s article “A Matter of Tradition,” published in HOT WIRE, July 1985.

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2 Responses to “Thoughts in the Month of March”

  1. After 10+ years singing this, I think Animaterra has taken a place in its history.

    susan g on 19 Mar 2009 at 8:16 am #

  2. I like Animaterra’s interpretation best: to me, ‘IF’ implies a ‘maybe’ factor, but ‘WHEN’ implies a commitment to make it happen…

    Deborah on 26 Mar 2009 at 6:19 pm #