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SPOTLIGHT
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Comforting words when we feel we walk alone

Published on -5/1/2013, 9:54 AM

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When you walk through a storm

Keep your chin up high

And don't be afraid of the dark.

At the end of the storm

Is a golden sky

And the sweet silver song of a lark.

Walk on through the wind,

Walk on through the rain,

Tho' your dreams be tossed and blown.

Walk on, walk on

With hope in your heart

And you'll never walk alone,

You'll never walk alone.

Rodgers and Hammerstein

The words of this song by Rodgers and Hammerstein are true. I believe it with all my heart. In these days when we see tragedy and sadness all about us in the tragic marathon bombing and the other horrific happenings in our country, I believe it even more as I see it somewhat softened by goodness, love and self-giving of those who rushed to help.

Last Friday night on PBS, "Live from Lincoln Center" presented the musical stage play "Carousel" with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. The popular song, "You'll Never Walk Alone" was written by Richard Rodgers and the lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein for their second stage musical together after "Oklahoma." But throughout the years, this composition has become so very much more than just a hit song. It has been a healing for wounded hearts, a soothing balm and a prayer uplifted to our God. This is music for the soul and a gift from above -- music doesn't just happen without thought and prayer. I think it is many times, the voice of God sent to us by our fellow human beings.

Hammerstein wrote the lyrics in 1945 for the Broadway stage musical "Carousel." In 1956, the show was made into a movie starring Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones. The movie never made money at the box office, but the song continued strong.

Much more than just a tune for the 1945 Broadway show "Carousel" in 1945, "You'll Never Walk Alone" became an internationally famous song crossing from our shores to across the sea. In 1963, the Beatles brought this song to the United Kingdom and eventually another highly acclaimed pop group, Gerry & the Pacemakers, recorded and made it the No. 1 hit in Great Britain. It then was chosen as the anthem for the Liverpool Soccer Club. In 1985, after being played as a charity memorial and fundraiser for the Bradford Stadium fire tragedy, it rose again to No. 1 hit status.

Audiences would spontaneously sing along with the band and vocalist as they played and sang this tremendously moving song.

Jerry Lewis used the song as a closing to the Muscular Dystrophy telethon. Many top singers have recorded the hit. James Leonard, a reviewer of classical music, wrote the inspirational song "is a testimony to the power of love to transform and redeem." And so it is that the power of heartfelt words set to music expresses the action and caring of others.

It is true we will never walk alone; however, we certainly might feel alone. That is why we need each other. We need family, we need friends, just even a smile from someone in the grocery aisle. For we never know what sorrow is in the heart of the one we pass by.

Thank you to all those who ran to the aid of those injured at the Boston Marathon. Thank you to the wonderful neighbors and church families who are there in the hour of need. Thank you to all those others who serve quietly and without thanks to those in need about us.

There are many in need in our communities, and we must take it upon ourselves so no one walks alone. We have many blessings in our community we must not take for granted. We must cherish and nourish them -- this is our heritage as Americans. This is our responsibility.

Tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer, established in 1952 by President Harry Truman. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan designated it be the first Thursday of May. The theme is "Pray for America."

We thank God for all our blessings and for all he has given us. Help us to be worthy. Yes, God bless America.

Ruth Moriarity is a member of The Hays Daily News Generations advisory group.

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