From the recording Speak to the Night

I wrote this song with my wife - poet, Fran Westwood - and our good friend and collaborator Brandon Davis for a Christmas Eve service in 2019. At the time our city of Toronto was deep in its (ongoing) housing crisis during a particularly vicious winter. People were dying on our streets, while the news was full of families being separated at the US border and the politics of race were heating up all around us. We wanted to bring all of us this with us into the service - into the nativity, as it were - because where else are we to look for Immanuel, but on frozen city streets, blocked from warmth and shelter, among the homeless, the orphaned and the displaced?

This is really a song for Advent - for tender, whispered hope held out against the night. It's for all of us who find ourselves breathing our secret prayers into the darkness hoping someone is listening, waiting for the light.


God of mercy
Witness frozen city streets
Hear our queries held in lonely nights
Shepherd who walks with us
Love enfold us til our shadows break at dawn

God of love
Your heart beat new in a hidden womb
While grasses of the earth fade and fresh blooms fall
But your breath of life moves
Close and tender to heal divisions of the night

Comfort, comfort

God of peace
Blocked from warmth and shelter
Refugee in a backward hotel garage
Mother and baby
Murmured love sounds, the sky sang back glory
The sky sang back glory to the dark

Comfort, comfort
Sons and daughters
Lift your voices
Make a way

*Lyrics by Fran Westwood