The information about the sources and the particular context of each song is a work in progress. These summaries, variously based on the observations of composers, writers, and/or authoritative interpreters of each song, are provided to assist in the presentation, teaching, and performance of this music. We welcome additional or corrective information to this resource, which may be sent to email@example.com.
Be Ours a Religion
This song exists in several different versions, as a brief response (as it appears in the supplement) for congregation and piano; as a response for choir SATB and piano, and as an anthem for SATB choir and piano (published by Yelton-Rhodes Music). The text is by the famous 19th century Unitarian minister, Theodore Parker, and a slightly fuller version of the text is given in Singing the Living Tradition as Responsive Reading #683.
Be Thou With Us
This song is also available in an SATB version as part of a collection of 62 Responses, Benedictions, Introits and Chalice Lighting Songs. Contact the composer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 4093 Fragile Sail Way, Ellicott City, MD 21042.
Blue Boat Home
This song was born from the composer's explorations on the guitar with Hyfrodol, one of his favorite melodies that he grew up singing in church. Being primarily a contemporary folk artist, he took some rhythmic liberties with the melody, and then added his own text that refers to our life on this earth as a grand seafaring journey. From his original recording, Jason Shelton created the score, and this wonderful piano arrangement. A copy of Peter Mayer's original version of Blue Boat Home can be purchased from Peppermint or by calling (800) 633-7020. It is available in sheet music, and on the CD entitled Earth Town Square.
This song is adapted from the poem (same title) by Senagalese poet, Birago Diop. The composer writes, “Hearing this poem, for the first time at a funeral, transformed my grief and affirmed my world view which includes and reveres my ancestors. When I heard the poem a second time years later, it began to sing itself to me, and I am glad that I have been able to share what I heard with you. As often as we call the names of those who have gone on, we enliven them; but we must then learn how to experience them anew. This poem provides entre into the new experience.”
Building a New Way
A bluesy and energetic song. One might consider teaching this song by rote since the verses are somewhat repetitive.
A song discovered by a British Quaker named Elizabeth Cave. She heard the song at Greenham Common, which was a peaceful sit-in at a nuclear energy plant in England. Elizabeth Cave sent the song to the Britain Yearly Meeting children's meeting newsletter where it was published. Someone else saw it there and submitted it to Sing Out Magazine, who published it in their RISE UP SINGING collection. Nick Page’s arrangement of this round, which was premiered at General Assembly 2002, is published by Hal Leonard’s Publishing.
Busca El Amor
This song sums up the composer’s simple personal theology. Salvador Cardenal Barquero is a fifth generation Nicaraguan. He studied to be a Catholic priest as a teenager. He, as many of his generation, answered the call for regime change by forming Duo Guardabarranco with his sister Katia. His original songs explore the need for love. He is a devotee of evolving spiritual thought. He has set music to words of St Francis of Assisi, Rabindranath Tagore, and the Sanscrit Vedas (Srimad Bhaghavatam). His plaintive song Cualquier Hombre (Anyone) has poor people calling to God in all different names and "not asking for leftovers."
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Monday, April 9, 2012.