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The AFS Song

The AFS Song Photo courtesy Nobuo Funabashi. All rights reserved.

 

The AFS motto "Walk Together, Talk Together" is taken from the ancient Sanskrit proverb

Walk together, talk together,
all ye peoples of the earth;
then and only then
shall ye have peace.

It was used in AFS publications as early as 1952 and widely used in the 1960s. There were several songs.

The origin of the song

At the beginning the AFS Song was only the refrain of Walk Together, Talk together.

We asked Nobuo Funabashi how it came to this version:

I attended the Asia Pacific regional conference in 1976 held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  It lasted about three to four days and there was a talent show on the eve of the final day.  I sang two songs, one of which was my original but the lyrics were written by the girl friend of a year-program student in Japan.  Stephen Rhinesmith, the President of AFS at the time, came to me after the show and asked me to add a verse or two to Walk together, talk together because the song was "good but boring".  And he asked me to write it by and sing it at the World Congress in September, 1976.  And I did.

For the following 25 years this song remained very popular among AFS exchange students.

A version of 1964 can be found in The AFS Story. Journeys of a Lifetime 1914-1947-1997 on page 100.

Lyrics AFS Song
Repeat from Sanskrit. Chorus by Nobuo Funabashi, 1976 .

Walk together, talk together,
all ye peoples of the earth;
then and only then
shall ye have peace.

Let's all look ahead
there's a light that shines on us
let's keep walking to our goal
and some day we'll be there

Walk together, talk together,
all ye peoples of the earth;
then and only then
shall ye have peace

Let's take one step ahead
no matter how small it is
let's not forget the ocean's
made of a little drops of water

Walk together, talk together,
all ye peoples of the earth;
then and only then
shall ye have peace

Walk together, talk together,
all ye peoples of the earth;
then and only then
shall ye have peace

Link to audio file

In the 21st century, a Thai AFS returnee added new verses which you will find below.

Travel across the sea,
walk across the land
summer or winter,
we go from place to place
with heart of joy and spirit of AFS

Walk together, talk together,
all ye peoples of the earth;
then and only then
shall ye have peace.

Culture we are bringing,
messages of peace,
from country to country,
to make good understanding
and we'll sing the song of AFS.

Walk together, talk together,
all ye peoples of the earth;
then and only then
shall ye have peace.

One year is not that long
but enough to know you
people of the world
are friendly every place
as we say the words of AFS.

Walk together, talk together,
all ye peoples of the earth;
then and only then
shall ye have peace.

AFS is love, AFS is brotherhood,
we are given just one year
to make the message clear.

Walk together, talk together,
all ye peoples of the earth;
then and only then
shall ye have peace.

  • When: The Seventies
  • Where: Asia-Pacific
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