Start by Listening

Start by Listening

If we want to love our neighbor
Gotta start by listening, listening, listening
If we want to love our neighbor
Gotta start by listening, listening, listening


1. Listen | to the people | living near us | who are hurting (2x)
2. Listen | just like Mary | when she sat down | next to Jesus (x2)
3. Listen | to deaf neighbors | speaking to us | in their signing (x2)
4. Listen | to the reptiles | and the llamas | and the bunnies (x2)
5. Listen | to the kitties | who are sleeping | on the sofa (2x)
6. Listen | to the tall trees | making fresh air | that we all need (2x)
7. Listen | God is speaking | in the people | all around us (2x)

Earth Day Verses:

Listen | to the stream flow | past the boulders | in the rapids
Listen | to the robin | as she warbles | in the elm tree
Listen | to the chorus | of the birdsongs | as the day break
Listen | to the crickets | pulsing gently | in the dark night
Listen | to the wind blow | in the branches | of the aspen
Listen | to the silence | of the starlight | in the night sky

Autumn Garden verses

Listen to the green beans who are finished for the season
Listen to the kale standing green still in October
Listen to the squash vines as the spill out past the raised beds
Listen to the compost as it turns waste into topsoil
Listen to the fungi who are working in the darkness

Words by Bret Hesla and South Minneapolis Day Camp. Music by Bret Hesla.
© 2018 Bret Hesla. All rights reserved. Use with permission, please.
Licensed via, Contact:

In the book One Square Inch of Silence, Gordon Hempton observes that deep listening is a first step to caring about our neighbors — the landscape, the trees, the insects, the people.

The South Minneapolis Day Camp, an urban camp for elementary aged kids, had a theme of “love your neighbor” in 2018, connecting that to not only humans but the earth. I put this song together, and got the children to participate on the verse-writing.

  •  x 
  •  x 
  •  x 
  •  x