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Students from Heritage Bible College in the Philippines sing "One Day" by Matisyahu.
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Voices Only: ‘One Day’ (‘All my life I’ve been waiting for, I’ve been praying for …’)

This Olympic anthem isn't really about sports.

I have heard the lyric “all my life I’ve been waiting for, I’ve been praying for” more times than I can count, usually connected to sports. Particularly, I think of Olympic sports. I never gave the lyric much thought.

Then I stumbled across this video posted by my friend Jun Fuentes of Heritage Bible College in the Philippines — not to be confused with Heritage Christian College in Ghana or Heritage Christian University in Alabama. (All three of these are associated with Churches of Christ, by the way.)

This is a cleverly done a cappella rendition of the song by Heritage Bible College’s SaltLight Voices.

Good stuff! There’s some real talent in this group.

So it turns out that the song’s title is “One Day” (which I didn’t even know) and it was first released in 2008 by Matisyahu. If that name sounds a bit biblical, that’s because it’s Hebrew for “Gift of God.” Matisyahu is a Jewish American recording artist who blends Orthodox Jewish themes with reggae, rock and hip hop music. Get your head around that!

I’ve found a few other a cappella versions of the song. Here’s one from the folks at The Hills Church of Christ in Texas:

I did a little digging and found out that NBC used “One Day” in its promos for the 2010 Winter Olympics. It’s also been used in coverage of the World Cup and other sporting events.

It’s kind of a shame that folks see that “all my life I’ve been waiting for” lyric as the inner-monologue of an athlete aspiring to greatness. There’s a lot more to it. Here’s more of the lyrics to provide some context:

Sometimes I lay under the moon
And thank God I’m breathin’
Then I pray, “Don’t take me soon
‘Cause I am here for a reason.” …

It’s not about win or lose, ’cause we all lose
When they feed on the souls of the innocent
Blood-drenched pavement
Keep on movin’ though the waters stay ragin’ …

One day this all will change, treat people the same
Stop with the violence, down with the hate
One day we’ll all be free, and proud to be
Under the same sun, singin’ songs of freedom like …

All my life I’ve been waitin’ for
I’ve been prayin’ for
For the people to say
That we don’t wanna fight no more
There’ll be no more war
And our children will play.

One day …

What’s your favorite a cappella song? Send us a video link and a short description of what the song means to you. We might use your selection in a future Voices Only.

Filed under: a cappella A Cappella Hymns hip hop Matisyahu Olympics Orthodox Judaism Peace reggae sports Voices Only Voices Only Winter Olympics

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