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Country: Country Folk Folk: Folk Pop Moods: Type: Acoustic

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Co-written by multiple award winning South Florida based singer-songwriters Ellen Bukstel and Nick Annis, “By My Silence”—chosen as a finalist in the 2009 John Lennon Songwriting Contest—is a deeply poignant, emotionally charged song about the regret of keeping silent to protect ourselves while others around us are suffering. While inspired by the famous poem “First They Came…” written in 1946 about the Holocaust by German anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor Martin Niemoller, Bukstel and Annis’ song has a universal, timeless appeal that transcends any specific historical time and place. Its hard hitting, heartfelt lyrics speak just as powerfully about silence in the face of oppression to the world we live in today.

The original version of “By My Silence,” which appeared on Bukstel’s critically acclaimed 2008 solo recording Daddy’s Little Girl, was not only a finalist in the Folk Category in the 2009 John Lennon Song Competition but also won the 2008 Public Domain Foundation Music To Life songwriting competition, launched by Paul Stookey (of Peter, Paul & Mary fame) to discover songwriters who address important social issues. Among its judges were folk legends Judy Collins, Janis Ian, Tom Paxton, John Stewart, Peter Yarrow, Noel Paul Stookey and the late Mary Travers. The new recorded version of the song recently was chosen as the 2010 International Winner of the New Zealand “Peace Song” Competition

Bukstel, whose accolades include being a finalist in the New Folk Songwriting Competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival and winning the 2008 Breaking The Silence In Song Competition, has been praised by such musical luminaries as Janis Ian and Michael Bolton.

In 2006, Annis was one of three winners of the South Florida Songwriting Contest and placed second in three other regional competitions.