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As the evening news and our twitter feeds seem to tell of violence and terror with increasing frequency this summer, the Goddard Carillon offers a counter message this month: “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

This song, penned by the husband and wife team of Sy Miller and Jill Jackson in 1955, was first introduced to a group of purposefully diverse high school students on retreat together in the California mountains. Brought together despite differing religious, racial, cultural, and economic backgrounds, this retreat was an early experiment in forging intentional understanding amongst diverse peoples at a younger age. That week, the song found a home in the campers’ hearts—and, 60 years later, hold status as one of the most beloved songs known the world over. Indeed, the song has been recorded by countless artists, was awarded the George Washington Honor Medal, and was recently sung in the Pope’s presence at Ground Zero in New York City.

The lyrics are simple:

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me;
Let there be peace on earth,
The peace that was meant to be.
With God as our Father
Brothers all are we,
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.
Let peace begin with me,
Let this be the moment now;
With every step I take,
Let this be my solemn vow:
To take each moment and live each moment
In peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.
A recording can be heard here: