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  • Growing up in my house, one was always surrounded by music. Dad sang in the church choir each week, and throughout the 60's was part of a singing chorale group called the Tom Fallon Singers. They sang all over the Pittsburgh area. My older brother Ken and sister Juli played guitars and sang folk songs - they were part of a "Peter, Paul & Mary"-like trio along with a guy named Leo, who always reminded me of John Lennon. They were a big part of the Pittsburgh Coffee-House scene in the '60's, and ran one for awhile called "The Shady Grove". I actually started and ran one by the same name for a little while in Windsor, Connecticut in the early 70's, in the basement of a church (although I did not play or sing, myself - I just still loved the idea of coffehouses, and loved music).

    One song that connected the generations of musicians in my family, and all of us, really, was the piece from "Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris" called, "If We Only Have Love". This song would bring everyone together whenever it was sung, and through the years, it kind of became the family song. When Dad passed away in 1996, it was the finale sung by all of us at his memorial service, and was the absolute perfect rousing send-off for this man of music, who embraced the message of the song, and infected us all with his love of music, and of humanity. The love that filled that space as we all joined in this song still fills me with awe, just remembering it 16 years later.

    Here are the lyrics of this wonderful song that means so much to me:

    If we only have love
    Then tomorrow will dawn
    And the days of our years
    Will rise on that morn

    If we only have love
    To embrace without fears
    We will kiss with our eyes
    We will sleep without tears

    If we only have love
    With our arms open wide
    Then the young and the old
    Will stand at our side

    If we only have love
    Love that's falling like rain
    Then the parched desert earth
    Will grow green again

    If we only have love
    For the hymn that we shout
    For the song that we sing
    Then we'll have a way out

    If we only have love
    We can reach those in pain
    We can heal all our wounds
    We can use our own names

    If we only have love
    We can melt all the guns
    And then give the new world
    To our daughters and sons

    If we only have love
    Then Jerusalem stands
    And then death has no shadow
    There are no foreign lands

    If we only have love
    We will never bow down
    We'll be tall as the pines
    Neither heroes nor clowns

    If we only have love
    Then we'll only be men
    And we'll drink from the Grail
    To be born once again

    Then with nothing at all
    But the little we are
    We'll have conquered all time
    All space, the sun, and the stars.
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