A printer named Harry Ruggles was the fifth founding member of the first Rotary club, in 1905. He is commonly credited with later introducing singing as part of the weekly meetings, a tradition that is still practiced at many Rotary clubs worldwide.
According to one version of the story, Harry jumped up in the middle of a disagreement between members and yelled, “Come on boys, let’s sing!” This successfully diverted the conflict into a group rendition of, “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” and everyone forgot what they were arguing about.
Music is good for the spirit. Whether it’s a rowdy rumba that can brings us to our feet in dance, or a sweet lullaby that calms our babies into slumber. Add some special lyrics, and you’ve got a song that may reach into our hearts.
That’s the kind of song we’re looking for, as we prepare to launch the first Songs for Peace songwriting contest. A tune that tells us that this can be a kinder and gentler world, and encourages mankind to band together as one. It’s a simple idea, but it will have a powerful effect. Because when people start focusing on peace and how to achieve it, rather than reaching for weapons in conflict, the world will have a real chance to heal.
SONGS FOR PEACE