STLT#366, Heleluyan

This is an amazing alleluia that comes out of the Muscogee Creek hymn tradition – which appears to emerge from the congregational line singing tradition. In a 2014 story on All Things Considered, Dr. Hugh Foley, a fine arts instructor and Native American history professor at Rogers State University in Claremore, OK, explains more about …

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STLT#355, We Lift Our Hearts in Thanks

Our English ethical culturist is back – this time with a more or less decent song of thanksgiving (puzzling placed in the Here and Now section). Good old Perceval Chubb… who once wrote an article stating that Americans ‘have an incapacity for leisure’ and whose O We Believe in Christmas felt pretty empty and apologetic. …

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STLT#346, Come, Sing a Song with Me

I’m finding things a little hard this morning (9/11, Irma, the memories this song stirs), so I’ll let Michael Tino introduce today’s post: “We confront the complex reality that something can be both insipid and profound simultaneously.” You see, this song by Carolyn McDade can be awfully sticky-sweet, with its rolling 3/4 time often played …

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STLT#343, A Firemist and a Planet

I am very tired of the humanist/theist debate. It seems to me that there are so many bigger, more important things for us to wrestle with, especially since – at least in Unitarian Universalist circles – even our most divergent theologies support the principles where we all meet. And I get that it’s harder to …

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STLT#339, Knowledge, They Say

If you’re looking for music to accompany a service about anti-intellectualism and fake news, this is your hymn. Heck, even if you’re just looking for music to accompany a service about James Luther Adams’ five smooth stones, or William Ellery Channing’s Baltimore sermon, or our fourth principle, this is your hymn. Knowledge, they say drives …

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STLT#332, Perfect Singer

True fact: context matters. I mean, I know you know this, but in this case it’s not just the context of where the lyrics come from or when they were written or how they were used. In this case, it’s about the accompaniment – in other words, the context in which the melody sits. And …

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STLT#329, Life Has Loveliness to Sell

I’m just gonna say right up front that for all of my belief in beauty and its role in revealing truth and inspiring connection to Mystery, I dislike the premise of this hymn. The premise – that loveliness costs, that the spiritual and inspirational are currency, that this entire piece is set in a capitalist …

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