Week #47: Shine Your Light

Hanukkah, a holiday that literally brings light into a dark world, starts on the evening of Nov. 28.

The main observance of the holiday, along with eating fried potato pancakes and fried doughnuts and playing dreidel, is lighting a menorah. On the first night, you light one candle and then each night you light one additional candle until, on the last night, the flames from all eight candles (plus the candle that lights the others, the shamesh,) burn bright. (Shamash is the Hebrew word for “helper” or “servant.)

One of the symbolic meanings of the holiday is bringing light into the world. Each person has the power to bring light into this dark world through their actions.

This week’s song, from 2015, wasn’t originally written for Hanukkah, but it’s about this concept of every individual having the power to shine their unique light into the world .

Quiet on the outside, but internally
There’s a fire burning and it’s yearning to break free
It seems like nobody’s watching, it feels like nobody cares
Dreams turned gray along the way, swallowed by fears

Now is your time to shine
Find a way to make your mark
Relinquish the dark
It’s time to shine your light

We all have a limited time on this Earth, no one’s sure how long it’ll last
Every day is a new beginning, don’t get stranded in the past
Every person has a unique role only they can fulfill
Find it, unite it, share it with the world, if you don’t, nobody else will

Now is your time to shine
Find a way to make your mark
Ignite your spark
It’s time to shine your light

If a tiny flame can brighten a room, we can all light up the sky
A single blaze illuminates for days, bringing a glow to your life

Now is your time to shine
Find a way to make your mark
Demolish the dark
It’s time to shine your light
It’s time to shine your light.

Since I wrote this before I learned about song structure, it’s a bit off. The first and second verses have different melodies and when I originally wrote it, the bridge was a third verse and there were additional lyrics that took the song in a completely different direction. Since the original recording didn’t include any of the changes I made, I recorded a rough version with guitar and vocals today on my phone for the purposes of having way to share it below. I thought this message was worth sharing, in hopes that it will remind people of that unique spark inside of them that they can use to help light up the darkness that we are facing in today’s world.

Happy Hanukkah to anyone who celebrates it!

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