Pater Noster, Bali Ha’i and Mother

My Mother had an exceptional opera quality contralto that she used occasionally as a young teen.  Mother sang solos, by invitation, in large Atlanta churches, during and just after WWII. She never needed microphones or other enhancement. When she sang, a cappella, the Pater Noster with Doxology, her long dark deep red hair glistening in sunlight  streaming through stained glass, even the  most   calloused, hardened veterans, and harshly bitter, destroyed elders would shiver and weep.

Mother married at sixteen. When she was nineteen I was born. Her magnificent voice was silenced, except to sublimate her longings into entertainment for her children.

Bali Ha’i, recorded the year I was born, is a song my Mother used to sing. Though she longed to travel across the oceans and visit exotic islands, she also longed for personal expression.  She never did have the opportunities or circumstances for either.  The lyrics of this beautiful song express longing for more than a particular geographic place. The Lord’s Prayer, or Pater Noster, we all know.

Bear … 12.12.2014
ⓒ Bearspawprint2014


OUR FATHER, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.
PATER NOSTER, qui es in cœlis;
sanctificatur nomen tuum:
Adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua,
sicut in cœlo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie:
Et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris:
et ne nos inducas in tentationem:
sed libera nos a malo.
Quia tuum est regnum, et potestas, et Gloria,
in saecula.
Pater Noster — Peteris Vasks
Latvian Radio Choir-
Sinfonietta Riga-
Sigvards Klava

Bali Ha’i

Most people live on a lonely island,
Lost in the middle of a foggy sea.
Most people long for another island,
One where they know they will like to be.

Bali Ha’i may call you,
Any night, any day,
In your heart, you’ll hear it call you:
“Come away, Come away.”

Bali Ha’i will whisper
In the wind of the sea
“Here am I, your special island!
Come to me, come to me!”

Your own special hopes,
Your own special dreams,
Bloom on the hillside
And shine in the streams.
If you try, you’ll find me
Where the sky meets the sea.
“Here am I, your special island
Come to me, Come to me.”

Bali Ha’i,
Bali Ha’i,
Bali Ha’i!

Someday you’ll see me floating in the sunshine,
My head sticking out from a low flying cloud,
You’ll hear me call you,
Singing through the sunshine,
Sweet and clear as can be:
“Come to me, here am I, come to me.”
If you try, you will find me
Where the sky meets the sea.
“Here am I, your special island
Come to me, Come to me.”

Bali Ha’i,
Bali Ha’i,
Bali Ha’i!

Bali Ha’i — Bloody Mary solo: Juanita Hall
Columbia Masterworks Record# ML 4180 (green label) from 1949.
Composer: Richard Rodgers.
Lyricist: Oscar Hammerstein II.