July 5: Tours – Baltics 2014, Estonia

Jon Curtis Season of the Day, SOTD - July

This is the third day of our miniseries on the tour of the Baltics and the second day of our nested miniseries on freedom and independence. We hope you are having a safe and happy Fourth of July weekend.

The tiny country of Estonia won our hearts during our brief visit in the midst of our tour.  Wedged between Germany and Russia it has suffered many occupations during its history.  But it regained its independence in 1991 as the Soviet Union was breaking apart, and also as a result of four years of protests which became known as the "Singing Revolution."  It was an amazing testament to the power of music and song.

We will learn more about that tomorrow, but first today we have a double header.  We begin with "Earth Song" by Frank Ticheli.  It so perfectly expresses the experiences of the Estonian people.

The video begins with one of Russia's WWII memorials, illustrating their mixed involvement during that war, of at first being sieged by the Nazi regime and then responding by occupying their neighbors as a buffer following the war.

Thus it did not go well for Estonia, being caught in the middle.  But like what the song expresses, Estonia took strength and refuge in music.

Sing, be, live, see
This dark stormy hour
The wind, it stirs
The scorched Earth cries out in vain

Oh war and power, you blind and blur
The torn heart cries out in pain

But music and singing have been my refuge
And music and singing shall be my light

A light of song, shining strong
Hallelujah, hallelujah

Through darkness and pain and strife
I'll sing, I'll be, live, see

Peace



The second video features Kevin Memley's, "If I Were the Velvet Rose," with words from Sara Teasdale.  The opening soloist is Kaitlyn Mayberry from SoCal, who was "discovered" while working with Allan at Pavane Publishing.  It is set to a walk along a timeline of Estonian history outside of the Great Guild Hall in Tallinn.  You may want to pause the video to read some of the events depicted.

Watch for a nod to Estonian optimism and hope in the final two events, as shown in the video's thumbnail below: the 100th Estonian Song Festival in 2384 and the Republic of Estonia's 500th Anniversary in 2418! 

Estonia joined the EU and NATO in 2004.  We wish them a long and happy future!