From our casual experimentation with a few melodies and tunes to a fully mixed and mastered professional musical production, 'Calm the Soul' could never have become a reality without the imagination, dedication and talent of Ian Callanan, the producer and arranger of the song. Nor could it have happened without the generous co-operation of the various artists, listed below, who were will willing to get involved and give of their time and talents to help us make it a reality.
THE STORY OF 'CALM THE SOUL'
In 2012 we launched a book called 'Calm the Soul'. The book came about as a response to an invitation we received from a book publishing company. One of the company researchers believed that the contents of the prayer section of our website contained material would be inspiring for people. It did prove to be very popular and was a best-selling book for a number of weeks in 2013.
There is a poem at the beginning of the book also called 'Calm the Soul'. We noticed from the feedback we received from people who read the book that it touched them deeply. We began to think about putting the words of the poem to music so that it would be more widely available to people.This was the beginning turning 'Calm the Soul' into a song.
Here are the words of the song :
Calm the Soul
When my boat, Lord, is storm tossed and sinking; when fears in my heart take control, say 'Be not afraid' to my spirit and Your answer will calm the soul. When I flounder around in deep waters; when the stresses of life take their toll, a sudden deep hush steals upon me. Your gentleness calms the soul.
When my life seems too full of confusion and I have lost sight of the goal, as I stumble about in the darkness may Your gentle light calm the soul.
I often live life on the surface; sometimes I'm playing a role. Help me cherish my own inner beauty. May Your tender love calm the soul.
When sinfulness tugs like an anchor; when guilt has me caught in a hole, I turn to You Lord for forgiveness, and Your mercy calms the soul.
When I struggle with sickness and sorrow and eagerly long to be whole, I call on Your name to bring healing and the touch of Your hand calms the soul.
We came up with a melody that draws on the musical motifs of a traditional Irish love song and some time later, when Ian visited we asked him to have a look at what we had put together. He was very taken by the words and the melody. 'Calm the Soul' worked its 'magic' on him. Soon after, he made an arrangement for choir. A vision for the song soon developed and some gifted artists and musicians rowed in to make the song a reality.
In its current format, the song is designed for one female vocalist and one male vocalist with the third verse arranged for mixed choir. We sisters, along with some of our Franciscan brothers, recorded the third verse together in the summer of 2019.
ABOUT - VOCALISTS, ARTISTS, OTHER:
Appropriate journey, choose the path... what does this mean? Do not stand still — a young person cannot stand still! — and journey. This means go toward something; because a person can move and not be one who journeys, but a “wanderer”, who roams, roams, roams through life... But life is not made for “roaming through”, it is made to “journey through”, and this is your challenge!
Pope Francis to young people