Yahoo Weather

You are here

‘Why Can’t There be Peace?’

<p>Sonny Lim records Kanu o ka Aina students singing “Why Can’t There be Peace?” a worldwide song project created to spread the message of peace. (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO| SPECIAL TO NHN)</p>

Sonny Lim records Kanu o ka Aina students singing “Why Can’t There be Peace?” a worldwide song project created to spread the message of peace. (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO| SPECIAL TO NHN)

Led by Pua Case, Kanu o ka Aina students record the song "Why Can’t There be Peace?" by Tom Pacheco.  Nations around the world will be recording the same song in a collaborative project to spread the message of peace.  (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO| SPECIAL TO NHN)
Led by Pua Case, Kanu o ka Aina students record the song "Why Can’t There be Peace?" by Tom Pacheco. Nations around the world will be recording the same song in a collaborative project to spread the message of peace. (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO| SPECIAL TO NHN)
<p>Kanu o ka Aina students gather to record the song “Why Can’t There be Peace?” Recordings from around the world will be brought together to spread the message of peace, a project initiated by Live Peace Woodstock from New York. (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO| SPECIAL TO NHN)</p>

Kanu o ka Aina students gather to record the song “Why Can’t There be Peace?” Recordings from around the world will be brought together to spread the message of peace, a project initiated by Live Peace Woodstock from New York. (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO| SPECIAL TO NHN)

<p>Led by Pua Case, Kanu o ka Aina students record the song “Why Can’t There be Peace?” by Tom Pacheco. Nations around the world will be recording the same song in a collaborative project to spread the message of peace. (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO| SPECIAL TO NHN)</p>

Led by Pua Case, Kanu o ka Aina students record the song “Why Can’t There be Peace?” by Tom Pacheco. Nations around the world will be recording the same song in a collaborative project to spread the message of peace. (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO| SPECIAL TO NHN)

<p>Paul Buckley uses a mixing board as he records Kanu o ka Aina students singing “Why Can’t There be Peace?” (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO| SPECIAL TO NHN)</p>

Paul Buckley uses a mixing board as he records Kanu o ka Aina students singing “Why Can’t There be Peace?” (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO| SPECIAL TO NHN)

<p>Students gather to record the song “Why Can’t There be Peace?” Recordings from around the world will be brought together to spread the message of peace, a project initiated by Live Peace Woodstock from New York. (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO| SPECIAL TO NHN)</p>

Students gather to record the song “Why Can’t There be Peace?” Recordings from around the world will be brought together to spread the message of peace, a project initiated by Live Peace Woodstock from New York. (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO| SPECIAL TO NHN)

<p>Sonny Lim, left, and Paul Buckley gave their time to record Kanu o ka Aina students singing “Why Can’t There be Peace?” a worldwide song project created to spread the message of peace. (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO| SPECIAL TO NHN)</p>

Sonny Lim, left, and Paul Buckley gave their time to record Kanu o ka Aina students singing “Why Can’t There be Peace?” a worldwide song project created to spread the message of peace. (PHOTO BY ANNA PACHECO| SPECIAL TO NHN)

Why can’t there be peace?

Peace on the Earth.

Let all anger cease.

Someone must be first.

Why can’t we believe that war is a curse?

Why can’t there be peace? Peace on the Earth.

Tom Pacheco, “Why Can’t There be Peace?”

For more than 150 Kanu O Ka Aina and Waimea Middle School students, sacrificing several hours singing in a hot classroom on a windless Waimea April day was worth a bit of discomfort.

Knowing their work had a higher purpose, they chose to smile through it – they sat quietly between takes as they recorded the song “Why Can’t There be Peace?” for a Live Peace International YouTube video.

The youth took the song written by Tom Pacheco and made it their own, with the help of Sonny Lim, a Hoku Award winner and Grammy Award finalist, along with Paul Buckley, Chadd Paishon, Pua Case, Pomai Bertelmann, Kanoa Castro, Hawane Rios and Keali’i Bertelmann, and many others.

With experience from the experts, the students transformed and crafted the song into a Hawaiian prayer-like rendition– starting with the blowing of the pu. The Kanu o ka Aina high school chanted with the pahu drums, creating a strong, steady rhythm flowing beneath the chorus of voices.

The project started with Case, a Waimea Middle School teacher, who was friends on Facebook with the Live Peace International group. Father John Nelson, organizer of Live Peace International from the Woodstock Council for World Peace, in Woodstock, N.Y., had been following work and her commitment to her community and the environment. Nelson invited her to create a “Why Can’t There be Peace?” YouTube video.

Case said she chose to work with the Kanu o ka Aina students and the Waimea Middle School May Day court because of their dedication to learning about issues that effect their community.

“They have studied enough, and they know they are involved in something that is beyond here,” Case said.

Case’s daughter, Hawane Rios and Keali’i Bertelmann recorded the lyrics to the song and video, with Lim’s help, a week earlier.

Lim said that when Case asked for his help, he immediately volunteered his time to be part of the project. He said he believes it is important to support and mentor the next generation.

“You are paying it forward,” Lim said.

As the students sang, he initially mixed the pre-recorded song with the live take in the room, working throughout the process – listening to voices, mixing, re-recording and editing.

“I think the message was really worth it,” Lim said of the song. “With everything that is going on in the world, it is good that the kids are aware that what is happening now is going to effect them in the future. It is good for them.”

He said he is proud of the students and their teachers that they can “voice their opinion, rather than make a protest down the road.”

“It is historic for all of them—it has never been done locally in Hawaii,” Lim said. “I am glad that the vision is evolving.”

According to Nelson, the “Why Can’t There Be Peace?” song project began about a year ago, recorded first with a group from Woodstock Day School, then with a group of students from Onteora High School, also from the area.

“Then we started migrating the song around the world through Live Peace International,” Nelson said. “ … The idea is to get the world involved in singing this song through schools and churches, but mostly through the voices of children. That is how we feel we are going to get the world’s attention – to get the children to sing.”

Nelson said that already, the song has been recorded in many countries throughout the world.

“We are hoping that Pua Case’s school will be able to inspire other countries and we can keep this going,” Nelson said.

He said that each YouTube video of “Why Can’t There be Peace?” should “keep the original spirit of the song,” but that every country can bring it’s own language and customs to the song.

“The whole purpose of the song is to show cultural diversity with singularity of message,” Nelson said.

“The song is an evocative song,” Nelson said. “It doesn’t point the finger at one person, it is more of an awareness … to get kids talking about the idea that peace is possible.”

“The children need to know the future – it is their future,” Nelson continued. “They really need to speak up and make their voices heard now. And the adults will listen.”

For more information on Live Peace International, visit their website at www.livepeaceinternational.org, or go to their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/livepeace3.