From A Tale of Songs by Swami Kriyananda
“I wrote this song because I, too, had roamed many lands and experienced many cultures. However different men seemed outwardly, my experience convinced me that they all want basically the same things.
“I had a vivid dream once in Florence, Italy, where crowds of people passed before me — people of all types, from criminal mafiosi to the generous, self-giving people one finds — though all-too-rarely — everywhere on earth. And I realized they were all united by one simple reality: Everyone was seeking happiness. The only thing wrong with most of them was that they had yet to find where true happiness lies. It lies in themselves! And I realized then, This is my reason for loving everyone on earth!”
I’ve lived in many countries
And mixed with many men.
I’ve shared their days of sunshine,
Gone with them in the rain.
The fires at evening said we were brothers.
The fires at evening said we were—
A soldier I saw weeping
Beside a dying friend.
My officers had said
I must hate him till the end.
But seeing his grief, I knew we were brothers.
But seeing his grief I knew we were—
A man sat on a doorstep
To see the children play.
The gentle way he smiled there
Would charm your fears away.
A stranger, he, but love made us brothers.
A stranger, he, but love made us—
One day I climbed a mountain
With friends of other lands.
The words we used were different,
But joy one understands.
Our gladness in God’s world made us brothers.
Our gladness in God’s world made us—
Though words and customs vary
Like waves upon the sea,
One life beneath the surface
Binds everyone to me.
Who knows the truth knows all men as brothers.
Who knows the truth knows all men as—
Then brothers, why endeavor
To set ourselves apart?
The fences we’ve been building
Squeeze tight upon our hearts!
Come sing the truth that all men are brothers!
Come sing the truth that all men are—