STLT#172, Siph’ Amandla

This is another freedom song from South Africa, from during the time of apartheid. It’s got energy and power and a sense of urgency that is compelling and captivating. And while it isn’t the only thing that makes liberation happen, song does remain a powerful tool in the activist toolbox. From the songs of enslaved Africans, …

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STLT#169, We Shall Overcome

My first instinct this morning was to talk around the history of this song to get to a discussion of grammar – namely the meaning that shifts when we go from singing ‘we will overcome’ to ‘we shall overcome’… there’s something there, but god help me I just can’t be bothered to dig in. And …

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STLT#168, One More Step

A few short thoughts today. First, composer Joyce Poley is one of the sweetest people I have ever met and very much wrote this before we had an awareness of ableist language. But despite how sweet she is, she wrote one of the most annoying earworms we have. Sadly, it mostly gets played as an oom-pa-pa …

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STLT#166, Years Are Coming

Yesterday (and elsewhere) I talked about how the first line of a song wasn’t always or necessarily the title of a song, and the use of such can be frustrating or misleading. I’m thinking it may be a good thing that the original title of this piece, by Universalist minister Adin Ballou, “Reign of Christian …

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STLT#159, This Is My Song

This hymn, y’all. First – we’re already into the Peace section; Labor and Learning was short, sweet, and to the point. Second – I am not Finnish. No where in our known genealogy is there any Scandinavian blood; we’re all German and English, with a dollop of Dutch and a dash of Irish. Yet this …

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