You are here

Let it Matter

Cover image by Guy Denning
www.guydenning.org

An urgent call to deep listening across cultural and class divides
Commissioned by Amasong Women's Chorus / Jill Crandall
Poet/Lyricist: 
Elizabeth Alexander

Let It Matter is an urgent call to deep listening across cultural divides, crafted with grit, tenacity and passion. Its pithy, emotionally layered lyrics are punctuated with edgy internal rhymes and surprising juxtapositions, eschewing the comfortable and predictable at every turn. In its final, luminous measures, this song offers listeners a profound, open-ended challenge: "No one would ever call this easy listening. Listen anyway."

** ORDERING MUSIC FROM SEAFARER PRESS **
Licensed PDFs are delivered by email. Sheet Music & CDs ship by UPS or USPS.
All orders are processed within 1-3 business days.
*More FAQs about Ordering Music*

Look Listen Instrumentation/Voicing Duration Level Item Delivery Method Price Quantity
https://www.seafarerpress.com/sites/seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/files/works_variant_audio_files/recording-let_it_matter_ssa.mp3 SSA, piano - Choral Score
5' M SEA-125-03 Sheet Music
$3.50
https://www.seafarerpress.com/sites/seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/files/works_variant_audio_files/recording-let_it_matter_ssa.mp3 SSA, piano - Choral Score
5' M SEA-125-03D Licensed PDF
$2.00
https://www.seafarerpress.com/sites/seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/files/works_variant_audio_files/recording-let_it_matter_satb.mp3 SATB, piano - Choral Score
5' M SEA-125-04 Sheet Music
$3.50
https://www.seafarerpress.com/sites/seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/files/works_variant_audio_files/recording-let_it_matter_satb.mp3 SATB, piano - Choral Score
5' M SEA-125-04D Licensed PDF
$2.00

Let it Matter

Elizabeth Alexander

You’ve got your own story –
You and everybody else have got a bone story,
Sunrise certain and touchstone true.
A homegrown story that you’ve known
    ever since you could say the words for
    “us” and “them” and “you.”

But every story’s got a flip side –
Underneath the surface there’s a rip tide
Powerful and yet denied.
To know the story of a stranger:
    That can be a mighty re-arranger –
    Let it be a downright game changer.

Chorus:
Let that story in. Let it matter.
Let it open up the prison of your mind.
There’s so much pain and glory in everybody’s story –
Let it matter. Let it in.

Let it lead to honest conversation.    
Let it shape the things you say and do.             
Let it be the bridge that heals a nation.     
No matter what you’ve been through,
Your own point of view
Is just a little part of what is true.
Don’t be afraid to let that story in.

(Chorus)

It’s about the fears that lead to fences.
It’s about the dreams that fall apart.
It’s about what builds up our defenses.
You’ve got to open your heart
Your most tender part
You’ll find yourself alone until you start –
Until you start to let that story in.

This is the work of justice,
This is the work of trust,
This is the work that is asked of us today.
No one would ever call this “easy listening” –
    Listen anyway.  Listen anyway.  Listen anyway.

(Chorus)

No one would ever call this “easy listening.”

Composer's Note: 

Singing is a hopeful and revolutionary act. This is especially true when songs bend toward the difficult and unfamiliar, for that is when music’s grace gives us access to things that words alone can’t express.

Let It Matter grew out of my own experience of facing some unfamiliar and difficult things. As a “white American” I had always known that my life experiences were different from those of people of color. Nevertheless, I found that I had an inner resistance to believing that racism was deeply entrenched in my country’s law enforcement departments. I had never witnessed or experienced police brutality myself, so it was tempting for me to presume that it was a rare occurrence. Yet evidence increasingly showed that that was clearly not the case. This concerned me greatly. I had some work to do.

While I was wrapping my head around this appalling reality, something else began to concern me. In their zeal to be heard and effect change, some protesters issued sweeping condemnations of absolutely everyone in law enforcement, or even everyone identifying as white. I worried that such blanket accusations could shut down the very conversations that might bring about change.

Over time I came to realize that both of these world views were deeply rooted in authentic personal experience. Because of this, both held important pieces of the truth. But neither one encompassed the whole truth. As the opening lyric of Let It Matter asserts, “Every story has a flip side.”

A third source of inspiration for Let it Matter was Circle of Peace, a neighborhood group that has met at my church for dinner every week for the past ten years. Circle of Peace is comprised of youth, parents, grandparents, police officers, business owners and community members. The agenda of these meetings is simple: To listen to and to speak personal stories, experiences and concerns in order to create a safer, more compassionate, and more just world.

It is an act of courage to simultaneously hold your own story and someone else’s story in your hands with gentleness, without dismissing either one. But that is exactly what the members of Circle of Peace endeavor to do. I hope Let it Matter reflects in some way the dedication, pain, grit and hope that keep that circle alive week after week. I do know that for me, writing this song brought me a few steps closer to “opening up the prison of my mind.”

Reviews and Responses: 

"This is one of the most powerful pieces I have ever had the honor of performing, and I know many other Amasong members share the sentiment. Thank you so much." Jessica Nichols, Singer, Amasong

"Let It Matter greatly touched me in our current world. It seems ever more important every single day to listen to each others' stories...Thank you so much again for your beautiful music, sharing it with the world, your boundless energy and your palpable joy." Serra Vickery, Singer, VocalPoint

Performers: 

SSA:
* PREMIERE: Amasong Women's Chorus / Jill Crandall (Champaign, IL)
Choir of Unitarian Universalist Church of Vancouver / Patrick Scofield (Vancouver WA)
McPherson College Women's Choir / Becky Snell  (McPherson KS)
SATB:
* PREMIERE: VocalPoint / Jennifer Anderson (St. Paul, MN)
Choir of First Unitarian Universalist Church / Joe Mish (Rochester, MN)
Idaho All-State Honor Mixed Choir / Sarah Graham (Moscow, ID)
Musaic Vocal Ensemble Frances Chiasson  (Kelowna, BC)
Pacific Northwest Unitarian Universalist Music Festival / Elizabeth Alexander (Shoreline, WA)
Singing Out, Toronto Michael Bennett  (Toronto, ON)

Looking for similar titles?
These links will allow you to view all titles in a particular category!
Genres: 
Difficulty: 
Choral Voicings: 
Accompaniment Type: 
Bestsellers & Newest Titles: 

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer