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July 2014

"If you have a question for me, enter this room. It exists just for us. A place for you to come to ask me whatever you wish. A chance for us to get closer. Share your thoughts, tell me your story, ask me your questions.  They will be answered."

Dear Candice,

I have listened to your song "Wind in the Willows" again and again, enraptured with its beauty and message. I am a teacher of English here at Hebrew University in Jerusalem--and this is the second year that I am "teaching" it to my students on our final class- as they set out, following a year of intensive study, "on their journey with all of mankind".
I teach mostly Jewish students, but they are immensely varied in backround and persuasion and there are also Muslim, Christian and Druze students in my class. Each year I struggle with the many name types for the first weeks, but, as I am going to share tomorrow, I think we've all come to realize that "their names they mean nothing, they change throughout time; what we come to learn over the course of the year is that we can "remember each smile" without stressing our differences.
These lyrics and your tune - are unbeatable. I had somehow thought they must have been based on something very traditional , enhanced by your rendition. However, I saw this evening that Alan Bell says that the tune plus the words - other words - were composed by him. I respect your right to modify both tune and lyrics to produce an enhanced masterpiece - something that offers hope to a Jewish person like myself - .as well as to every "old man, maid, and "young boy" regarless of creed..There is something so pure in your tune and so humane in your words. I was just wondering.
Thank you for your beautiful music! I would be elated to hear that you are coming to perform here in our city, Jerusalem.

Be well,

Hello Zehava,

Thank you for your very interesting message. We were introduced to the song Wind In The Willows by a friend who sang in the English folk band "The Strawbs". And, yes, the original was composed by Mr. Bell. I did do some modification on the original text...one example being the line:
"I asked them to tell me their names and their race
So I could remember each smile on their face
Our names, they mean nothing,
They change throughout time
So come sit beside us and share in our wine"
The idea, as you mentioned, to be inclusive of and accepting of all races and ethnicities who are kind to us...
Thank you for your email and for enjoying the music

Much love,

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