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Peter Kearney's first collection especially for children.
A very popular and widely used album. Track list below.

Includes a school song  which has been adopted by hundreds of Australian schools. Peter can record a custom version  including your school name in the second verse. For more information, to hear an mp3 sample or to place an order go to 'This Is Our School'

"Peter Kearney has the ability to enfold a particular scripture word or message in song. His songs on 'Celebration' have been used over and over in our children's liturgies.
Their doctrinal richness and singability have been a real prayer experience
for children and adults alike."
(Sr. Susan Connelly)

Available as CD (lyrics in cover booklet)
Custom CD-Rom
(with melodies, lyrics, chords, background notes)

Track List
Foreword by Graham English
Preface by Peter Kearney
Brief info on Mary MacKillop
Project History
Song Lyrics

& Notes on the Songs

1. Celebration.  - "Join the celebration of the Word. Have you heard the joyful news, oh have you heard: God has talked to Jesus and his Word has come to us now. Join the celebration of the word. A song with a joyful swing- ideal as a Processional hymn.

2. Peter Was A Fisherman - A question and answer song about those crucial time when Jesus' disciple said "no" or, more importantly, "yes".

3. Mary When You Were a Girl - Accompanied by accordion, a simple ballad on the childhood of Blessed Mary MacKillop of Australia, founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

4. What's The News!?  - In snappy 'media' style, witnesses (Peter, Mary, the Disciples) sing their reports on the resurrection of Jesus. A good song for dramatisation.

5. Pentecost - With a simple chorus: "Pentecost, oh Pentecost- all is gained and nothing lost. When the Spirit came everyone was changed". The verses tell the story of Pentecost Sunday

6. Thankyou God For Loving Me - "You love me each day like new- thankyou God for loving me. Though sometimes I don't love You" A simple song written for the Sacrament of Reconciliation

7. Peacemaker - "You could be kind when the world was cruel, stay in your peace when they called you a fool. Jesus could you make of me a Peacemaker. A song often used in preparation for for Reconciliation.

8. This is Our School - Adopted as a school song by hundreds of schools throughout Australia. The second verse includes a school name (here 'St. Joseph's School') so that other schools can substitute their own school names.

9. Joseph - A rare and useful song about St. Joseph.

10. One More Step - Written by the great English songwriter Sydney Carter (Lord of the Dance) for children making the transition from Primary to Secondary schoo (suitable for other transitional occasions as well)

11. Together as One - "Together as one, together as one. A people of light and a people of faith. We gather in love together as one." A joyful song of gathering. Another version of this song is included on Peter's 'Growing in God' CD.

12. The Swan.  Peter's setting of a child's poem.

CONCERT FAVOURITES...The tracks below are included because Peter often includes these lighter songs in his Family Concerts presented with children.
13. Take Me for a Ride in your Basin, Jason
- A novelty song that children love.

14. Televisionland - Among children, this is easily Peter's most popular concert song. It's about a land where people watch television all the time.

15. Football Crazy. A traditional (Scottish?) song about a young fellow named Paul is is crazy about football.

16. The Wee Tot. Guaranteed to raise howls of laughter. Another song with a Scottish origin, playing on the double meaning of that little word 'wee'.



Peter Kearney is a giver of gifts. For over twenty years Peter has been giving Australians his songs. At the beginning there was 'The Beatitudes', a melody now known by thousands. Since then, to those Christians involved in the struggle for peace and justice he has given two anthems 'Unless the Grain of Wheat Falls' and his 'Magnificat' (My Soul is Praising the Lord).

In the last few years Peter has travelled widely within Australia, from the Opera House in Sydney to parish halls in the most out-of-the way country towns giving pleasure and inspiration, singing his songs in concerts, teaching them in schools and leading people in meditating on the place of the Christian message in their lives. The music of Peter Kearney is always based on a desire for peace and justice and on an identification with the poor and the outcast. It is witness, too, to his belief that God has no cultural cringe. God is HERE, revealed, and always has been while ever there have been people in this vast, empty, quiet land and on the noisy, crowded coast most of us choose to occupy. That God is here is no news to the Aboriginal people. Peter Kearney's songs help to remind the rest.

Peter Kearney's songs owe much to European tradition; at the same time they touch Australian concerns in language and music we can understand. The songs in 'Celebration' are for children. They are intelligent songs, never coy. They are meant to be enjoyed. I hope that you accept Peter Kearney's invitation and celebrate with his songs.

Graham English, Catholic Education Office, Sydney


When giving concerts I like to see children in the audience and always include songs especially for them. Funny thing though - adults seem to enjoy these songs as much as children. And I certainly enjoy singing them; their simplicity and humour give a welcome and necessary balance to the more serious themes of my work.

But then there is a serious side to children and I wonder if our definition of 'songs for children' is sometimes too narrow. I remember my surprise when singing at St Joseph's Primary School in Kingswood, NSW and St. Francis Xavier's School in Wollongong to find children requesting songs like The Man God Chose' and 'Hiroshima' (Never Again!)', then seeing how they listened with such deep attention. From that experience I have learned that if children are led into a song by an enthusiastic adult the scope of their appreciation can be deep and broad. The songs in this collection range from 'Take me for a Ride in your Basin, Jason. written many years ago and just for fun, to the very recent 'Joseph' a more thoughtful ballad which can't be fully appreciated without an understanding of its historical context.

Five of the songs have been previously published by C.C.D.. Sydney. In 1983, Fr. Caryl Grew, then C.C.D. Director, commissioned me to write some songs to go with lessons being prepared for children in Year 4. Songs originally written for C.C.D. programmes include 'Celebration', 'Pentecost', 'Peacemaker' and 'Thankyou God For Loving Me.

Peter Kearney

The song 'Mary When Your Were a Girl' is about the early life of Mary McKillop. Mary was born on 15th January 1842 in Fitzroy Melbourne, Australia, the eldest of eight children. As a teenager she was particularly moved by the plight of poor children who had no chance of education or religious instruction in the primitive conditions of goldrush-Australia. Guided by Fr. Julian Tenison Woods, she began her work of teaching and caring in a disused stable at Penola in South Australia A far-sighted and independent woman, she inspired many other women to come and join in her work. The Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, as they came to be known, shared the hardships and joys of ordinary working-people and they often had to overcome discomfort, great distances and isolation to go about their work. Today, their work continues in many Josephite schools, hostels and hospitals.

Another of Peter Kearney's songs: 'Mary In Black' from the 'All The World Is Sacred' album tells a later stage in the Mary MacKillop story.

Originally recorded and published as 'Celebration' on cassette-tape in 1987 by Crossover Music.
Re-released on CD in 2000 as 'Celebration Plus'. Extra tracks and new versions of 'Televisionland' and 'Take Me For a Ride in Your Basin, Jason' recorded at the Little Portion Studio, Welby, NSW.

Original recording: Windwood Studio, Lawson, NSW.
Sound Engineer: Jeff Todd.
Arranged and produced by Peter Kearney.
Singers and Musicians:  include Claire Parkhill, Helen Archer, Ross Grierson, Gill Rees, children's choir.

COVER ARTWORK: Karin Donaldson