“Let The Children Be Set Free” came into being first as a burst of vicarious pain, and a gut reaction of perplexity at the hearing that something like what the Bodnariu family went through can actually happen today, and in one of the most coveted countries in Europe.
As I went about my days, my thoughts would rush back to the drama of the five children abruptly removed from their family, and all I could hear in my head were the words once Jesus said: “let the children come to me.” How utterly opposite Jesus’ heart for the children seemed from that of the CPS!
I immersed myself in the Bodnarius' drama, and as more stories surfaced, of children from other families (both nationals and ethnic), who were at the mercy of Barnevernet (or lack of, thereof), I began to fashion more words around the musicality of the imperative “let the children be set free!” Short words. Poignant. Demanding. Impending. Pleading. Reminiscent of YHWH’s words to Pharaoh, “let my people go!”
I started singing around the apartment, “let the children/let the children/let the children be set free!” My son mimicked my singing as he tagged along.
I knew it should be in English, and I believed that it should be sung by children for the children.
I wrestled with the words. I toiled over the lyrics. For nearly two months. I wrote and rewrote. I asked for advice. I needed it to be right.
I wanted it to be truthful, respectful, yet firm and transpiring dignity. I did my research. Almost every verse reflects the story of a family whose child(ren) has been taken by Barnevernet.
Chief among the lyrics is the one that calls for the freedom of the children to sing their song, clearly in reference to the Bodnariu girl who sang at school a Christian song, which triggered this whole ordeal. For those who are familiar with the Holy Scripture, the whole stanza is reminiscent of Psalm 8:2.
In the end, children belong to their loving father and mother, to their family, and they belong to God. Therefore we will carry on singing: