Arts and Entertainment

‘A Peaceful Solution’ comes to Kitsap through 8-year-old and his dad

Jack Moriarity, 8, performs with his father Pat locally and on YouTube. The duo will be playing a book signing party for the cartoon-anthology book
Jack Moriarity, 8, performs with his father Pat locally and on YouTube. The duo will be playing a book signing party for the cartoon-anthology book 'Typhon' Sept. 13 at Fantagraphics Books in Seattle.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo/Jack and Pat Moriarity

Jack and Pat Moriarity’s YouTube version of the Willie Nelson tune featured online at the Willie Nelson Peace Research Institute Web site.

So the legend goes ... it was 3 a.m. early one spring morning 2007, in the back of a tour bus on the way to the Southern California musical festival Coachella, when Willie Nelson and his daughter Amy penned the words to “A Peaceful Solution.”

A long time ago, Amy had dreamt that she was sitting in a large, dark auditorium where her dad was on stage singing an extraordinarily captivating song about peace. Upon awakening she remembered only that feeling of peace and the words “a peaceful resolution.”

The dream meant little to her back then. After all, how often was Willie not on stage singing captivating songs about peace.

But on the way to Coachella that late night/early spring morning, the song and the dream came back to her. She couldn’t get the tune out of her head. So she reminded her dad of the song, and that night they penned the words. Amy grabbed a voice recorder and Willie sang ...

“There is a peaceful solution / Called a Peace Revolution / Now let’s take back America,” it opens. “There’s a war and we’re in it / but I know we can win it / so let’s take back America ... Let’s take back America.”

It’s a powerful sentiment on paper.

Even more powerful is the haunting, bluesy a capella version he sang that night. You can find it online at, along with a few other versions from the living legend himself, and a Web page full of versions of “A Peaceful Solution” contributed by peace lovers around the world.

Increasing the power of the song and its idea even further, Nelson deliberately kept the song free of copyright, offering it up to be used freely in peace-making movie soundtracks and allowing anyone to perform and record the song in their own way. Soon a Web site — the Willie Nelson Peace Research Institute — was popularized around the idea of posting all the different versions of “A Peaceful Solution.” It now hosts more than 200 video and mp3 posts.

So the legend goes ... one day in the spring of 2008 in the garage/art studio/practice space of the Moriarity residence in Port Orchard, another father/child duo was surfing said Web site when son Jack asked his dad, Pat, why all these people were singing the same song.

Pat explained the meaning behind the song and its ideal to his guitar-playing, Ramones-loving son, and suggested that they try it.

“It’s a good song, it’s not really a rock song like the ones that I like, but it’s a good song,” young Jack said of “A Peaceful Solution.”

Jack, 8, has been playing guitar and singing and even writing songs, in a way, since the age of 3, Pat said. “Sometimes he just walks around the house with a guitar strapped on like it’s part of his body,” he added.

Once a week, Jack takes lessons from local Country Music Hall of Famer Pat Haggerty and he has now employed his self-professed, non-musician dad into playing a stripped down drum kit along with him.

Pat and Jack gave their first concert at a Fourth of July party on their back porch, playing “A Peaceful Solution” which was recorded by mom, Lori, and wound up posted on the WNPRI Web site Aug. 7, accompanied by an article posted by the Web site purveyor Jay Greathouse which said “If an alert and intelligent (8) year old boy can get it then I can have hope, not only for our country, but also the world.”

As Pat and I talked politics about the country and the world, in between songs at the special concert the duo gave for What’s Up last week, Jack, a bit anxious, was poking his dad in the arm, subtly trying to get his attention.

“I’m booorrreed,” he whispers.

So they finished off the impromptu set with the Kinks’ song “Lola” and Jack’s newest — “Get On With It.”

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 28
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates