The lyrics for this song are from the Langston Hughes poem Tell Me, as well as some that I wrote. I contributed a post on the MMC blog about this song, you can read it here.
Here's a video of me leading the song at the MMC Presenters' Retreat in September of 2015:
This protest song was written by poet, activist, and public intellectual June Jordan. It can be sung as a canon and gains power and momentum with the addition of percussion instruments.
"We have come too far
we can’t turn ‘round.
We’ll flood the streets with justice
we are freedom bound."
Here is video of the piece being sung at an Occupy event (the singing comes near the end of the video):
This gentle, expressive song by John Bell is a powerful invitation into a space of loving trust.
"Don't be afraid, my love is stronger,
My love is stronger than your fear.
Don't be afraid, my love is stronger,
And I have promised to be always near."
Copyright for the piece is held by GIA Publications, Inc. so you'll need a OneLicense membership to print the text or music.
Here is a version performed by Music that Makes community presenter Ana Hernández:
Paul Vasile wrote this song in December of 2015 at St. Lydia's Lutheran Church, and it's sweeping melody often elicits lush harmony when invited.
This canonic setting of Psalm 85:10 was written by Albuquerque-based composer David Poole. Many of his pieces have been created in collaboration with John Philip Newell, the well-known author and teacher on Celtic spirituality.
This setting could be used in various contexts: as a psalm refrain, as a sung Passing of the Peace, or in liturgies focused on peace and justice.
"Love and faithfulness shall meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss."
Sheet music is available for purchase from David's website.
Here's a video of Conie Borchardt leading the song at our Music that Makes Community Presenter's Retreat at Holy Cross Monastery:
Come, My Beloved was written by Carol Logen and shared with the MMC community by Chanda Rule.
"Come, my beloved,
make your home in my heart."
The video features Chanda Rule leading the song at a Music that Makes Community workshop in Baltimore, Maryland in November 2015.
This short song by Trish Bruxvoort Colligan is inspired by a saying of Jesus found in the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke: "No one, when they have lit a lamp, puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, that those who come in may see the light."
"Hide not your light under a basket, love,
else the world will never find its way."
Trish's music is licensed through CCLI, OneLicense.net and Worldmaking.net. Be sure report use of the piece if you print the text or music for your community.
Here's recording of the song from Trish and Richard:
This new musical setting of a Shaker text is by organist and composer Daniel Schwandt. It was written at a Music that Makes Community Composers Retreat in Brattleboro, VT in 2013. It has been used in many different contexts: as a call to prayer, for Ash Wednesday and during the Lenten season, for services of healing and reconciliation, and even at funerals or graveside services.
The melody has strong call and echo features, and some leaders teach the song this way. Others line it out line by line, adding simple movements to help the group better remember the text.
"Lay me low, where the Lord can find me.
Lay me low, where the Lord can *own me.
Lay me low, where the Lord can bless me.
Lay me low, oh, lay me low."
*MMC leaders frequently substitute 'hold' for 'own.' We find the original word carries baggage painful to many, especially communities of color with direct connection to the American history of chattel slavery. We honor the Shaker tradition from which the song emerges while also seeking to name and heal painful legacies of oppression.
Sheet music can be found in Singing In Community, published by Augsburg Fortress. Here's an audio recording Dan teaching the song for the very first time.
Below is a teaching video made by Paul Vasile. Notice he substitutes the word 'God' for 'the Lord' to invite a more broadly inclusive spirit. You could also substitute the word 'Love.'
This is a song from South Africa, from a community of people living with HIV/AIDS. It is available in written form as an arrangement by John Bell in We Walk His Way from Wild Goose Publications.
Here's a video of Patrick Evans leading God Welcomes All at MMC in San Francisco in 2011:
Here's a video of Emily Scott teaching God Welcomes All at MMC in Houston in 2011:
Fear Not the Pain was composed by Rachel Kroh at a Music that Makes Community Composers' Retreat in 2013. The text is from Rainer Maria Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus.
The song can be used in many different contexts: at the bedsides of the dying, a mantra for individuals struggling with chronic pain, in interfaith worship gatherings, as well as in liturgies centered around themes of healing, justice, and reconciliation.
"Fear not the pain,
let its weight fall back into the earth.
For heavy are the mountains, heavy are the seas."
Sheet music can be found in Singing In Community, our latest songbook published by Augsburg Fortress.
Here's an audio recording of Fear Not the Pain made in Brattleboro in 2013 as well as the melody transcribed by Marilyn Haskel.
Here's a a four-part arrangement of the song by Peter Amidon. If you enjoy it, you might want to see some of Peter's other arrangements in 55 Anthems for the Small Church Choir.