The War Prayer


Outraged by American military intervention in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War, Mark Twain wrote a short story called “The War Prayer” in 1905. Harper’s Bazaar Magazine rejected the piece, as did Twain’s own publisher. Even his family and friends feared it was ‘sacrilegious’, and the story remained unpublished until 1923 – thirteen years after his death. “I don’t think the prayer will be published in my time. None but the dead are permitted to tell the truth.”

This short film is a modern adaptation of Twain’s “War Prayer”. It was in Directed by Michael Goorjian and stars Jeremy Sisto.

The Music:

“Army of Christ” : Written by Dan Studney, performed by Thomas Dekker.
Musical Score: Christopher Ferreira


In scoring this emotionally and philosophically deep film, I tried to consider Mark Twain and his original story. There is not much in the way of musical score until the last two minutes of the film, however these last minutes are critically important. Whatever music was there had to give the viewer the space to realize and to resonate with the message that Twain as well as the filmmakers were trying to deliver. After trying different approaches, I ended up recording a simplified and slowed down version of “The Star-Spangled Banner”. I believe the music gives the viewer a familiar and comforting feeling which facilitates the emotional impact of the film, while helping to emphasize the irony that the character of “The Stranger” (Jeremy Sisto) is pointing out to his fellow patriots in the story.