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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
How Could Anyone
A song by Alaskan singer, Libby Roderick, was composed in response to a friend in pain. It has been heard around the world, translated into many languages, and is reprinted in many books. The simple folk tune and words have been embraced by people with many types of pain, from AIDS orphans to cancer survivors and prisoners. The lyrics have been used for healing in many different settings that include: churches, hospitals, shelters, rallies, weddings, and funerals.
How Sweet the Darkness
A hymn text that was included in Singing the Living Tradition (with a tune by Vaughan Williams), and was set anew as a choral anthem in memory of those who died on September 11, 2001. The anthem, available from the composer was then reduced to a hymn version for this collection. It is assumed that Ms. Bates' poem originally referred to World War II and the terror in the skies over her native England, but the composer saw new meaning in the words, "When wings pursue their proper flight, and bring not terror, but delight," in light of the tragic event of our day. The hymn tune, MAURO, refers to Dorothy Mauro (1946-2001), a friend of the composer's family who worked and died in the World Trade Center.
This is a spiritual, says Dr. Ysaye Barnwell. She goes on to say, “Any further information [that I would give] would be in the realm of interpretation, and there are many depending on whom you talk to and/or what you are reading.”
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Last updated on Monday, April 9, 2012.