Spiritual Love Song


Spiritual Love Song - (2009)    

Roger Bourland

for medium voice and piano

for D

There are times when I’m a Christian
There are times when I’m a Jew
There are times when I’m an atheist
There are times I only think of you

There are times when I’m a Buddhist
There are times when I’m a Jain
But all I know is that
I really love you.

Copyright © 2009  Roger Bourland

Used with permission

[ 2 pages, circa 1' 10" ]

Roger Bourland


Roger Bourland has taught music at UCLA, and served on my doctoral committee when I was there. Roger writes a blog on musical issues of various kinds, http://rogerbourland.com/blog/, and on it on the 5th of May he printed his "love song," noted as "for D." For additional information about him as composer and educator, I encourage you to visit his site. Finding this wee text, I set it to music over morning coffee and sent it off as a surprise. He has allowed me to reprint it herein.


The text echoes the famous rhetorical argument of Mahatma Gandhi as he strove -- alas unsuccessfully -- to keep the Muslim and Hindu worlds stabile and at peace, a world which became two distinct nations of India and Pakistan. Gandhi's well known text was a response to the question of whether he was a Hindu, as he answered, "Yes I am. I am also a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist and a Jew." This is not a theological sleight of hand, so much as is it a challenge to those who affirm their faith while denying another's within the context of the "moral basis," as Gandhi observed. The answer to such a conundrum is also answered by him, writing, "Man, for instance, cannot be untruthful, cruel or incontinent and claim to have God on his side." This is equally apt for the beliefs of atheism and Buddhism with its declaration of No-thing.



The setting is rather hymn-like in the conventionality of the vocal line. The accompaniment melds the tonic and subdominant together is each bar as a simple "pedal" to the tune, excepting that the cadences and final gestures offer slight syncopation to emphasize the gentle and sweet conclusion to the text.




The score for Spiritual Love Song is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.


Spiritual Love Song