From Creation’s Start


Text by Kathy Galloway
SATB voices, piano, opt. bodhrán
Published by Fresh Ayre Music

A vigorous anthem about the eternal struggle of the spirit of love against pride, fear, and hatred. This song appeared in a supplement to the Church of Scotland hymnal called “Songs of God’s People,” which my sister encountered during her pastoral residency there in 1992–1993. The words were written by Kathy Galloway, currently the leader of the Iona Community, an ecumenical Christian community based on the island of Iona off the western coast of Scotland. The community’s publishing group, Wild Goose Publications, produces books on peace, social justice, holistic spirituality, and music, much of which is taken from British folk song traditions. This tune is from a raucous old Jacobite song called ”Cam Ye O’er Frae France,” which I first heard from the singing of British folk-rock pioneers Steeleye Span.

The tune as it appears here progresses seamlessly from verse to verse, without a real place to breathe; and so I have alternated between male and female voices to make that seamlessness possible. The use of a bodhrán (Irish frame drum) is highly encouraged.

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From Creation’s Start

From Creation’s start, there has been a story
told from age to age, of the Maker’s glory:
painted in the sky, sung in joy and sadness,
acted out in love, raged against in madness.

Though the love was there, men would not believe it;
blinded by their fears, they could not conceive it.
Pride, oppression, hate, ride the world uncaring;
in the lust for life, we would die despairing.

Listen for the voice, it has never vanished,
though to death’s dark night we had thought it banished;
hear it through the guns, from the prisons ringing,
from the long-denied, songs of freedom singing.

Hear it from the poor, crying for each other,
from the sister scorned, reaching to a brother,
from the wounded heart, touching us in pity,
hear it from the cross, raised outside the city.

Everyone who hears with the heart and spirit
knows the story true, life we shall inherit;
what we give away shall return completed,
so the song goes on, ever more repeated.

Glory be to God, mystery in giving,
glory be to Jesus, one with us in living,
glory to the Spirit, hurt among us mending,
trinity of life, in the life unending.

Glory be to God!


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