Dear One

Arranger: Penelope Salinger
Composer: Penelope Salinger
Lyricist: Penelope Salinger

Dear One 20230201

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Submitter Comments

I wrote “Dear One” in February of 2008, about 6 months after joining the Santa Barbara Threshold Singers. It arose out of noticing what I was saying internally each time I approached a bedside to sing. Sometimes I didn’t know the person’s name, so I addressed the person mentally as “Dear One,” aware that the person we were singing for was surely someone’s loved one. I imagined what the family members and friends would want to say, if they could, and that became the text.

The following month, Marilyn Power Scott sent me this email about introducing the song at the All-Choir Gathering at Bishops Ranch: “I taught ‘Dear One’ to the gathered TC women on Friday morning, and they lapped it up like cream. After singing it a couple of times to get it well set, Kate had us each think of someone not present to sing it to and then had us turn to someone there and sing it to them. It was so yummy. (I got to sing it to Kate.)”

I have been deeply touched by the various stories people have shared with me about how they’ve used “Dear One” and the responses it has engendered. Several have told me about singing it to their beloved pets after having made the difficult decision to euthanize them. One of my greatest honors has been having “Dear One” go out into the world on the Threshold Choir’s “Walking Each Other Home” CD. I also sent it out via my CD “To Remember Who We Are,” which is a collection of my inspirational songs and the songs I’ve composed for the Threshold Choir. And, to make it as accessible as possible, I created a meditative video to accompany it.

See Penelope’s Songwriter Profile

[2023.02.01—Notation revised to include Songwriter’s Note. Key lowered from C Maj to B-flat Maj. Minor format edits.]


Dear One, thank you for your love.
Dear One, thank you for all you have done.
Dear One, thank you for all you have given.
Now it’s your time to rest.

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Tags & Keywords: CD3