Fear Not the Pain
About the Song
Fear not the pain
Let its weight fall back into the earth
For heavy are the mountains
Heavy are the seas
C - G - / F - C - ://
© Rachel Pollak Kroh www.musicthatmakescommunity.org arr. © Amidon Music Publishing www.amidonchoralmusic.com All rights reserved.
The simple chant-like song was composed by Rachel Kroh, when she was program director of Music that Makes Community, an ecumenical nonprofit that empowers & liberates communities' spiritual life & healing through singing. She composed it at a Music that Makes Community Composers' Retreat in 2013.
The Music that Makes Community website says that "the song can be used in many different contexts: at the bedsides of the dying, a mantra for individuals struggling with chronic pain, in interfaith worship gatherings, as well as in liturgies centered around themes of healing, justice & reconciliation." https://www.musicthatmakescommunity.org/fear_not_the_pain
The lyrics are adapted from 3rd stanza of Poem #4, Book I of Sonnets to Orpheus by the Bohemian-Austrian poet, Rainer Maria Rilke.
The arrangement is by Peter Amidon with a small but signficant chord shift by Andrew & Hilary Donaldson. Their arrangement is available as a free download at their site https://amidonchoralmusic.com/product/fear-not-the-pain/
Here is Rilke's original poem:
O ihr Zärtlichen, tretet zuweilen
in dem Atem, der euch nicht meint,
laß ihn an eueren Wangen sich teilen,
hinter euch zittert er, wieder vereint.
O ihr Seiligen, o ihr Heilen,
die ihr der Anfang der Herzen scheint.
Bogen der Pfeile und Ziele von Pfeilen,
ewiger glänzt euer Lächeln verweint.
Fürchtet euch nicht zu leiden, die Schwere,
gebt sie zurück an der Erde Gewicht;
schwer sind die Berge, schwer sind die Meere.
Selbst die als Kinder ihr pflanztet, die Bäume,
wurden zu schwer längst; ihr trüget sie nicht.
Aber die Lüfte … aber die Räume …
One of many English translations:
Oh you tender ones, there are times when you should
Enter into that breath which was not intended for you,
Let Him part Himself on your cheeks, -
How he trembles behind you, comes together again.
Oh you blessed ones, oh you redeemed, you
Who are the wellspring of the heart.
Bows for arrows, and hitters of the mark,
Your smiles shine forth forever, eased by tears.
Do not fear to suffer; - cares sink back
Into the earth again from their heaviness;
Heavy are the mountains, heavy are the seas.
The trees which you planted as a child
Have long since grown too heavy; you do not deceive them.
But the winds ... but the spaces ...