“Girl on a Mission (Magnificat)”. Gen Verde’s new song for WYD 2023

Gen Verde releases a new single for World Youth Day 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal

A new song by Gen Verde arrives: ‘Girl on a Mission (Magnificat)’. From Friday 5 May on all music platforms and with the videoclip available on the official YouTube channel.

How did this song come about, what lies behind it, its inspiration?

Why don’t you write a song for WYD? This is a question we were asked several times during World Youth Day 2019 in Panama… and we liked the proposal. The idea stuck and finally the time has come. Writing a song is not easy in the midst of concerts and tours. But we decided and it just took off from there!” says Jamaica Lyra (percussionist, Brazil).

Nancy Uelmen (singer and composer, USA) explains: “We were fascinated by the choice of the WYD theme taken from the Gospel of Luke: ‘Mary arose and went with haste’. And we felt it was important that our new song emphasised this. In these last years of preparation for WYD 2023, strongly marked by the pandemic, we feel that Pope Francis wants to help us all – and especially the youngest – to arise. Following the example of Mary, he urges us to find new courage to deepen our relationship with God and our relationship with others – opening ourselves especially to those who are most in need”.

Adriana Martins (singer, Brazil) adds that the song “is in English, because we wanted it to be in a language that many young people could understand, and then certainly also in Portuguese, because it is the local language of the WYD. In Lisbon we will find a lot of young people from all over the world. That is why in the chorus the phrase ‘Magnificat anima mea’ is sung: words which are universally recognisable”.

Photo videoclip "Girl On A Mission (Magnificat)"

“Girl on a Mission (Magnificat)”

“As I began to write, I wondered: what must Mary have felt when, being so young and pregnant, she set out to visit her cousin Elizabeth? And I thought she probably felt a great joy! She was already carrying Jesus within her! I imagined that, as she travelled, the words of the Magnificat began to resonate in her heart”, Nancy explains.

And why this title? Christina Wang (drummer, Malaysia) answers: ‘We wanted the song to be a conversation with Mary and, at the same time, a prayer in which we ask her to take us with her and teach us to have her vision, her care and attention to others. The image of Mary ‘on the road’ is very significant for us because we’re often on tour, to bring the message of the Gospel through our music. That is why we see in Mary a model for our lives.

And the music? Says Nancy: “It had to be modern and suitable for that context, i.e., for a large crowd of young people: a song with lots of energy to reflect Mary’s haste and urgency to bring an important message. It had to be bursting with energy and sacred at the same time, as the WYD experience will surely be for all these young people who come together after the long wait of the pandemic to have a strong experience of God together”.

As in several of Gen Verde’s most recent artistic productions, the all-female ensemble wanted young people to be involved in the videoclip for this song. This time, they involved a group of students from Antonella Lombardo’s “Laboratorio Accademico Danza”, and Maria Salvatori, a young Italian cellist. “There would be so much more to say, because we are very excited about this song, but we want to end like this, leaving it to you, our audience, because, we hope, when you hear it, you’ll find what we wanted to convey. And, of course, we can’t wait to play it at WYD 2023 in Lisbon! concludes Jamaica Lyra.