As many of you know, the original version of “There Are No Words” was written on 9-11-2001 as my own, personal response to the horror of that day. Upon singing it publicly a few nights later I was urged by the audience to record it - which I did, as a single CD, since my album “This Road Tonight” was already mastered at that point.
It subsequently was sent by others around the US and to some European countries where it seemed to hit a nerve with many who heard it. The song also recieved a Michigan Emmy in 2002 when the Detroit NBC affilitate (WDIV) used it in a piece they put together on the attacks. My own aim with this song has been pretty modest - it came out the way it came out and I never had an agenda with it other than to present it.
As we now face the 5th anniversary of that awful day I find myself hearing from folks about the song and am putting a (slightly) new version of it here. Songs have a way of evolving over time and there are two changes that I’ve made in the lyrics since the original.
When Paul Stookey was performing it he sang “there is no earthly balm” in the chorus (instead of “there is no balm”) because he found solace in his religion at that time, as did others I heard from. So my change is to “is there a balm”, leaving a space for personal interpretation. And in the second verse I changed “all the brothers, all the lovers” to “all the brothers, sisters and lovers” to acknowledge both genders of victims and to make it seem less male-oriented.
This new “There Are No Words” was produced again by my friend David Mosher and we think it sounds pretty good. Please feel free to download it, record it, and send it around...
Download “There Are No Words” from here or from the opening link: