Cambridge Holocaust Memorial Day

Historyworks is commissioning the famous children's poet, Michael Rosen, to write new poems for marking Holocaust Memorial Day on our national theme for 2018, the Power of Words. These lyrics are being composed in response to our history workshops organized by Helen Weinstein for Cambridge children at KS2 and KS3 where Michael Rosen shares his story about gaps in his family, the migrant and refugee experience, and we with the young people use the experience of those fleeing from wars and genocides, from hateful words and prejudice, to create new pieces.  

Michael Rosen's lyrics will be set to music for children's and community choirs to sing by our musical arranger, Bethany Kirby.  The sound files for these will be available for the start of the January term.

With our musical advisor for HMD, Rowena Whitehead and our musical director, Mario Satchwell, we are also sourcing lyrics which fit the theme to be resonant with the values of marking HMD of using our voices to challenge injustices and prejudice and to call for celebrating diversities and to create peace in the world.  You can see some of the songs we are preparing for our school choir singing assemblies and for the Cambridge HMD Civic Event below and can navigate quickly by using the tabs with song titles on the right-hand side.  

We have recorded the melodies in parts and provided the lyrics online so that individuals and groups can learn the pieces. These are drafts to help beginner singers and not professional recordings to be broadcast!  We have also provided scores where they exist.

In addition, we are very pleased that songs are now provided by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, and we will be performing a version of the Rwandan lyric, written and performed by Jean Paul Samputu, called No More Genocide.  You can find all these resources which are free to use and distribute and perform by using the HMDT song link here:

Power of Words - Summoning up the Absentees by Michael Rosen

Lyrics by Michael Rosen (commissioned  by Historyworks)

Musical Arrangement by Kirsty Martin. Download Score HERE

To help learn the song, you can listen to a recording of the voice parts - for primary choir singers please start with just Part 1 - because the adult choirs will add the harmony line for the HMD civic ceremony - you can listen to all the versions here

Verse 1:

There are gaps x x there are blanks x x
in the house x x of my life x x
there's a face x x nothing more x x
something gone x x from my life x x

Verse 2:
She was here …he was there…
in the rooms… of my life…
there's a place… for them both…
in the words… of my life…

There are gaps
there are blanks
in the house
of my life

Hebrew Cannon - Musical arrangement by Su Hart

You can listen to a recording of the voice parts below

Scroll down to see Su Hart's score & tips to use with singers.

Words for this version of the Hebrew Cannon:

Lie la lie lie
Lie la lie lie
Lie la lie lie la lie lie

Lie lie
Lie lie lie lie
Lie lie lie la lie lie

Lie lie
Lie la lie lie
Lie la lie lie la lie lie

This is a traditional jewish tune which has been set out as a song with a musical arrangement and license purchased by Historyworks for our HMD project and performances from Su Hart's The Joy of Singing Book  available from or contacting Sue at



One Heart Beating - Lyrics & Melody by Sue Kirkpatrick

To help learn the song, you can listen to a recording of the voice parts

Part 1

We are one world, one voice, one heart beating
We are one world, one voice, one heart beating

Part 2

Everybody living in this world
Everybody’s got a voice, let’s use it
Everybody living in this world;  One heart beating

Part 3

We are one world – we are one heart beating
We are one world – one heart beating


When Love had no Road - Lyrics by Clare Shaw & Melody by Alison Burns

WHEN LOVE HAD NO ROAD resonates with the HMD testimonies of those who have survived genocides and are dislocated by war, where the journey along the road as a migrant or refugee is so powerful as an experience in their travels and as a metaphor for their survival, and this lyric the road is about love, because it is love that can restore and build a road, it is love that can build a structure to restore humanity!

Melody by Alison Burns

Song licences available from

Lyrics adapted from a poem called 'Vow' composed by Clare Shaw


To help learn the song, you can listen to a recording of the voice parts below.

Yes, say yes, say yes, say yes!

Put the word of your hand in mine and say yes

When love had no road we built it

We shouldered its stones and its dirt and built it

We laid aside our hurt and built it

When love had no road


Build the Road to Peace arranged by Paul Halley

This song is chosen for HMD because the message of respecting and embracing diversities and promoting equalities is highlighted by Cambridge City Council as the value communicated by the marking of Holocaust Memorial Day.

You may recognize the melody adapted from the very famous Ode to Joy; and in the Road To Peace we have lyrics composed by Paul Seeger, original melody by Beethoven, musical arrangement by Paul Halley.  

You can listen to a recording of the voice parts here.

Lyrics for Road to Peace

Build the road of peace before us
Build it wide and deep and long
Speed the slow, remind the eager
Help the weak and guide the strong
None shall push aside another, none shall let another fall
Work beside me Sisters and Brothers
All for one and one for all

Build a house of peace together
Make the walls both firm and strong
May it be a place of welcome
Where all people may belong.
Every creed and every culture
All-embracing human race
Let the peace of true forgiveness
Joy and blessings fill this place.


We Are One by Dr Ysaye Marie Barnwell

This song has a terrific message which resonates with the HMD theme for this year and the message is that there is a way to build a positive future. The song is by

Dr. Ysaye Marie Barnwell

(Sweet Honey in the Rock)


To help learn the song, you can listen to a recording of the voice parts here


Part 1

For each child that's born               
a morning star rises and sings       
to the universe who we are             

Part 2

For each child that's born
star rise and sing
who we are

Part 3

We are one x 4



Cambridge Holocaust Memorial Day


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