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Looking for Light

by Rachel Marie

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“Looking for Light” is not a typical song for the Christmas season. With one vocal line floating clearly above simple fingerpicking and the earthy tones of an acoustic bass guitar, Rachel Marie calls on biblical imagery to send a message that is deeply relevant: The religious is political, the political is human, and as humans we need to treat one another better than this. The narrative expands from a lookout on South Mountain in Rachel’s hometown of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to address issues facing American society. “Looking for Light” draws musically on the hymn “People in Darkness Are Looking for Light” (Dosia Carlson, 1986) and on the traditional carol “We Three Kings.” In the Christmas story, some of the wisest men in the east followed the star of Bethlehem to find the baby Jesus, who encompassed love in this world. We, too, must brave the darkness to find the light of love.


A little town of Bethlehem bore me
I was borne in the bubble of my mother's loving womb
A path had been made in the wilderness for me
Through the darkness that consumed
So in my little city people loved who they loved
Their color was vibrant and everyone was someone I could trust
But I very quickly learned that love still has to fight
And that the people who uphold the rules are only sometimes right
I want to think we're better off now than we were then
But my Bethlehem is broken and so is my Jerusalem

Oh, there are people in darkness
We are in darkness, but within us all there is light

Are we a nation built on liberty and justice?
Are we a nation built on rule and law?
I hear children blindly pledge themselves, declaring indivisibly
That all these things exist, in fact, for all
But will strength forever lead to strength, and crime to crime?
My God, when will you save the people?
Because after all this time
You told your leaders they were hypocrites, and you were killed for what you said
Now if you said "Please, just leave me alone" you'd still end up dead
We are a nation of unclean, whitewashed tombs
Standing strong and proud as we rot through

Oh, there are people in darkness
We are in darkness, but within us all there is light

So I follow the star to South Mountain
Where my reckless teenage nights were born
Where I was a grenadier, a dreamer, a prayer
Where I once had hope that this world could be fair
That our love could glow brighter than a star of steel
And that a nation's wounds could heal

Oh, people in darkness are looking for light
People in darkness are looking for light
We are crying, pleading, still proceeding
Guide us to perfect light


released November 30, 2018
Voice and guitar – Rachel Marie Schachter
Acoustic bass guitar – Bill Schachter

Recorded at Dragonfly Alley in Morristown, NJ by William J. Hall




Rachel Marie Boston, Massachusetts

Short Bio

Rachel Marie follows in a tradition of unapologetically forthright women folksingers, with songs that hearken to "overstuffed lines of Tori Amos, philosophical turn of Indigo Girls, and lilting vocals like Joni Mitchell." The social awareness of folk meets the introspection of the singer-songwriter tradition with a moderate dose of snark. ... more

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