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'Prayer Flags,' A Song About Waiting On Heavenly Help02:59

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Musician Kristina Olsen says Tibetan prayer flags flying over porches near her home in Venice, Calif., became the inspiration for a song. (Courtesy of the artist)closemore
Musician Kristina Olsen says Tibetan prayer flags flying over porches near her home in Venice, Calif., became the inspiration for a song. (Courtesy of the artist)

For some, bringing in the new year means praying for good things to come. Kristina Olsen ponders the reasons for prayer in her song, "Prayer Flags." She tells the story behind it in the latest edition of What's in a Song, a series from the Western Folklife Center.

"In my travels around the world, I often see these Tibetan prayer flags fluttering off of porches in places that are so far from Tibet," Olsen says. "At my own part-time home in Venice, Calif., I'll see them fluttering off multimillion-dollar little houses now, which were once ghetto houses. The juxtaposition of little hand-made Tibetan prayer flags hanging off a balcony with such opulence got my mind going."

What's in a Song is produced by Hal Cannon and Taki Telonidis of the Western Folklife Center.

Copyright NPR 2016.

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