STJ#1018, Come and Go with Me

This might be, as the hymnal suggests, a spiritual from the time of American slavery. This might also be, as some online sources suggest, a traditional blues tune. I hate when the search for information in inconclusive. Because I don’t know whether to talk about the use of 19th century spirituals in our predominantly white …

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STJ#1017, Building a New Way

For all the awfulness of Reddit (a  social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website that recently had to crack down on alt-right and Nazi content/users), there is also some wonderfulness – from the AMA (Ask Me Anything) posts with famous and not so famous people, to the joy of helping others find songs, …

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STJ#1016, Profetiza, Pueblo Mio

I’m sad to say I’ve not sung this very much. I’m sad because I’ve opted for comfort and chosen other hymns for justice-oriented services, in part because I’m not as comfortable singing Spanish as I am other languages, in part because I’ve not had accompanists willing to try it, and in part because – at …

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STJ#1011, Return Again

There’s a wonderful podcast called Song Exploder, where host Hrishikesh Hirway invites songwriters to talk about the origins and construction of their songs; they ‘explode’ the song apart to share insights about the ideas for the song, and about the various parts as it goes from hummed melody and chords on a piano to fully …

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STJ#1010, We Give Thanks

Callou, callay! O frabjous day! Yes, this joyful song leads me to quote Lewis Carroll – because there is in both a pure celebration of the moment. As arranged here by the always delightful Susan Peck, Wendy Luella Perkins’ song has energy and life. And because of the STJ commission’s commitment to good singing, Peck …

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STJ#1003, Where Do We Come From?

Throughout this practice, I’ve happened upon many hymns that were inspired by (or were outright settings of) poetry; that makes sense, as lyric forms seek out one another naturally. But this is the first time I’ve encountered one inspired by paintings. As noted on the UUA’s Song Information page, The lyrics of this song come …

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STLT#413, Go Now in Peace

If you are a fan of a film or tv show with highly quotable lines, you may find yourself giving the next line almost out of habit: “Inconceivable!” “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.” “To make a long story short…”    “TOO LATE!” “My father hung …

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STLT#411, Part in Peace

Hmmm. I really don’t have much to say, because I don’t know how I feel about this one. (Also, I’m squeezing this reflection into a day full of fall house cleaning.) What I can tell you is the lyrics, by Sarah Flower Adams (of Abide with Me fame), set to the Charleston tune (which you …

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STLT#409, Sleep, My Child

When I was a little girl, my mom would come to tuck me in every night and sing lullabies to me. Now I’m pretty certain some of the songs weren’t actually lullabies, but many of them were. She had a rich alto voice, and she loved to sing. At one point, she put the songs …

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