The Steel Jungle

April 20, 2020 8:13 pm

The Steel Jungle is my first exploration into choral writing.   When Denton High School choral director, Ann Smith, requested that I either arrange an island classic for choir and steel drums or write a new work, I knew that it had to be a new composition.  The Steel Jungle is dedicated to those who lost loved ones in the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.   The music and lyrics stems from a vision of New York after the tragedy with a closing section anchored in hope, love and peace.

 

The Steel Jungle

By Mark Ford

Into the tunnel finding cold and dark
above a river crying soon
Fluorescent lights break up the path
open to light of the moon

Enter a jungle with a greasy feel
finding asphalt concrete and steel
Peering through heavy smog of haze
a longing for simpler days

Rising dark buildings
Searching cold black skies

Enter the jungle with a greasy feel
windows reflect concrete and steel
Peering through heavy smog of haze
a longing for simpler days

Then I saw two fallen giants
among the rubble and ash
Screaming thousands of voices I heard,
above a single bird

Soaring up freely to a space of trees,
a central place between the stone
I saw this flight, watching and hoping, and realized, among millions, I was alone.
Then from the stillness I heard a beautiful girl sing:

The beauty we love reflects who we are
And the joy we sing reaches for the stars
Your treasure within reflects your spirit reborn
So hold my hand, find that life can be transformed

We cannot allow sadness to close down our lives (to embrace change is to know life is full).
The challenge is to always lift up our eyes (and we will lift up our hearts)
And see the joy all around (and we will learn to care)
and see that love abounds (and we will know)
We have inside to share

The beauty we love reflects who we are
And the joy we sing reaches for the stars
Your treasure within reflects your spirit reborn
So hold my hand, find that life can be transformed

To see your path ahead (the present holds the answer)
Open your heart to all (and we will show)
Love is the way, right now
Now is the time, sing your song!