Polly Baldridge

My first original single...available wherever you buy music!

No More Graves online distribution links

No More Graves video 

In May 2018, I wrote No More Graves and sang it for a Memorial Day worship service. The pastor at Damascus United Methodist Church, where I was working, planned to speak on the same title and shared with me his longing for violence, war and pain to cease. I had never really written a song, but as I was vacuuming my bedroom, the words No More Graves, with a plaintive melody, just played like a recording over and over in my head. Soon other words were given to me, and I spent a couple days refining and ordering the ideas. The song is at once a song about no event in particular and every death or loss in particular. The lyrics are inspired from my faith perspective and by an overwhelming sense of our humanity and mutual connectedness.

Fast forward to the spring of 2020: it was always part of my plan to record the song and share it with others, but with my busy schedule, it didn't come together. In the midst of quarantine, however, I felt a strong nudge to move ahead with this recording. I approached Stephen Kalnoske, friend and musical colleague, to play piano since he played for the original performance. I approached long time friend Doug Benson of Commodore Recording in Thurmont, MD, to record the song. We gathered, at an appropriate social distance, at Damascus United Methodist Church to record the song in just three takes. I have never released an original song, and I approached Karen Jonas, a former voice student and now professional singer/songwriter, for counsel about the process. She gave me some wonderful advice and encouragement, suggesting that I have a video to accompany the release of the song. At the urging of my Mom, I reached out to Nick Spiropolous to see if he might help me with a video. Nick is both a friend and family member, as he is the brother of my brother's wife. He said yes, and we had a wonderful time filming. Friends on social media shared their images of love and care to be used in the video.

At every turn, I have felt like the timing of this release is ordained. In the midst of Coronavirus deaths topping 100,000 in the United States and yet another violent death of an innocent black man, I humbly offer this song. May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.


No More Graves

© 2020, Polly Edmonds Baldridge 

(written May 2018 in honor of David Cooney)

 

No more graves, no more graves!

I’ll not kill another’s joy with the hurtful things I say.

May I not speak in anger, take all bitterness away.

Let me speak a word of life, Lord.

No more graves.

 

No more graves, no more graves!

I will not look past the people you put on my path today.

Let me see them as you see them, not ignore and walk away.

You’re alive in every creature.

No more graves.

 

No more graves, no more graves!

Hurt and massacre surround me; hope can quickly fade away.

Mass destruction starts with little acts – a steady, slow decay.

Turn us back to living waters.

No more graves.

 

No more graves, no more graves.

I see violence and disease near to home and far away.

Life can be like such a battle, in the trenches every day.

God is sending reinforcements!

No more graves.

 

No more graves, no more graves.

I feel threatened and defensive, retribution must be paid.

Jesus died for every sinner, paid that price to clear my name.

God, your plan is for redemption.

No more graves.

 

No more graves, no more graves.

In the middle of this chaos, there’s a role that I will play.

I will take aim with kindness, target suffering when I pray.

Turn my weapons into plowshares.

No more graves.

 

Let me speak a word of life –

You’re alive in every creature –

Turn me back to living waters –

God is sending reinforcements!

God, your plan is for redemption –

Turn my weapons into plowshares –

 

I believe in resurrection!

No more graves.