Unitarian Hymnal Sing-along

In which Kathryn attempts to sing a different song everyday from the Unitarian Universalist hymnal, 'Singing the Living Tradition'. Earlier posts are based on songs from the Reader's Digest songbooks she found at yard sales as a child, including: 'Reader's Digest Treasury of Best Loved Songs', 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook', and 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook of Faith and Joy'. Bonus Folk song material from: 'Folk Song USA', by John and Alan Lomax.

27 February 2007

"Mansion Over the Hilltop"

Will the horror never end? Will there come a song that doesn't suck to sing, that--dare I say it--inspires me? Will this book last forever? Will I be foolish enough to continue? Stay tuned, gentle reader, and meanwhile: never sing this.

A few years ago I assumed command, as it were, of the adult singing group at my daughter's Waldorf School. I managed this not through any great show of experience, or talent, but through knowing just the smallest bit more than anyone else, and being crazy enough to be willing to take on the work. Plus, I had a lot of music at home to peruse, and a mild obsession with finding more.

This year our group, The Purple Mondays (named for Rudolph Steiner's convention of associating colors with days of the week), took a different turn. We suddenly became a smaller group, though not for any one reason, it seemed. I was very discouraged, though. We had been doing so well, and then it seemed that our momentum had died. I called the group together to discuss options.

The response was overwhelming: everyone, all five of us, wanted to keep singing. We wanted to do more challenging, interesting, and fun pieces. We wanted to stay small. We wanted costumes, preferrably with tight striped and flared pants, and shirts with fringe. We chose a variety of groups to research, and quickly acquired enough music to get us started.

This last Monday evening the four of us present sang some new rounds to warm up, improvised harmonies to some folk and gospel tunes as a second course, and then sang a bit of 'Java Jive' and 'Boogie Woogie Bugler Boy', and Wow. *We* weren't perfect, but the sweet smell of possibility was in the air. We realized that we could do this. The chosen songs we started with might not seem to be that challenging, or contemporary, but gosh golly they're a heck of a lot of fun. Give me four part harmony any day, and my day takes a turn for the happy land. Give me more.



At 4:14 PM, Anonymous binky said...

We wanted costumes, preferrably with tight striped and flared pants, and shirts with fringe.

Scissor sisters?

Also, I saw this and thought of you.


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