• advent journal: songs to sing together

    by  • December 6, 2014 • advent journal, community, music • 1 Comment

    The protests have been in my mind all day. Here are a few of the songs that have been the soundtrack in my mind. As we walk this Advent road, these are good tunes for the journey.

    The first is a John Fogerty song covered by Mavis Staples and Jeff Tweedy called “Wrote a Song for Everyone.”

    Met myself a coming county welfare line
    I was feeling strung out, hung out on the line
    Saw myself a going, down to war in June
    All I want, all I want is to write myself a tune

    Wrote a song for everyone
    Wrote a song for truth
    Wrote a song for everyone
    When I couldn’t even talk to you

    Got myself arrested, wound me up in jail
    Richmond ’bout to blow up, communication failed
    If you see the answer, now’s the time to say
    All I want, all I want is to get you down to pray

    Wrote a song for everyone
    Wrote a song for truth
    Wrote a song for everyone
    When I couldn’t even talk to you

    Saw the people standind thousand years in chains
    Somebody said it’s different now, look, it’s just the same
    Pharoahs spin the message, round and round the truth
    They could have saved a million people, how can I tell you?

    Wrote a song for everyone
    Wrote a song for truth
    Wrote a song for everyone
    When I couldn’t even talk to you

    Jackson Browne has been a part of the soundtrack of my life since high school. His latest recording holds this gem, “Standing in the Breach,” among others.

    Although the Earth may tremble and our foundation crack,
    We are all assembled and we will build them back.
    And let’s just say the lives remain and held within our reach.
    Try to put our world together, standing in the breach.

    So many live in poverty while others live like Kings.
    Though some may find peace and acceptance in all that living brings.
    I will never understand, how ever they’ve prepared,
    How one life is struck down and another life is spared.

    Though the earth may tremble and cast our work aside,
    Though their efforts resembled the fluctuations of time.
    We rise and fall with the trust and belief and love redeems our seed.
    And our backs and the hearts together, standing in the breech.

    You don’t know why,
    It’s such a far cry, in what this world could be.
    You don’t know why,
    But you still try for the world you wish to see.
    You don’t know how, it will happen now after all that’s come undone.
    But you know the change that the world needs now, is there in everyone.
    The unpaid debts of history, the open wounds of time,
    The laws of Human Nature always tugging from behind.
    I want to think that the earth can heal and the people might still learn,
    How to meet this world’s true challenges and if it costs their own can turn.

    Though the earth may tremble and the ocean’s pitching arrives,
    We are all assembled.And we will lift our eyes
    To the tasks that we know lie before us and the power of our press besieged,
    And lift our souls into the Heavens, standing in the breach.

    You don’t know why,
    It’s such a far cry from what this world can be.
    You don’t know why,
    But you still try for the world you wish to see.
    You don’t know how,
    It will happen now.
    For all that’s come undone.
    But you know the changes the world needs now is there in everyone.

    Sarah Jarosz covered Bob Dylan’s “Ring Them Bells” and their effort will close out our song session.

    Ring them bells, ye heathen
    From the city that dreams
    Ring them bells from the sanctuaries
    ’Cross the valleys and streams
    For they’re deep and they’re wide
    And the world’s on its side
    And time is running backwards
    And so is the bride

    Ring them bells St. Peter
    Where the four winds blow
    Ring them bells with an iron hand
    So the people will know
    Oh it’s rush hour now
    On the wheel and the plow
    And the sun is going down
    Upon the sacred cow

    Ring them bells Sweet Martha
    For the poor man’s son
    Ring them bells so the world will know
    That God is one
    Oh the shepherd is asleep
    Where the willows weep
    And the mountains are filled
    With lost sheep

    Ring them bells for the blind and the deaf
    Ring them bells for all of us who are left
    Ring them bells for the chosen few
    Who will judge the many when the game is through
    Ring them bells, for the time that flies
    For the child that cries
    When innocence dies

    Ring them bells St. Catherine
    From the top of the room
    Ring them from the fortress
    For the lilies that bloom
    Oh the lines are long
    And the fighting is strong
    And they’re breaking down the distance
    Between right and wrong

    May we keep marching and singing together.

    Peace
    Milton

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    One Response to advent journal: songs to sing together

    1. Leonard Beeghley
      December 7, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      Good choices. In the same vein, I would add Paul Simon’s, “Sounds of Silence.” What distresses me is that so many whites, including members of our congregation, still focus on the details (someone threw a rock, there was a molotov cocktail found), rather than the source of rage.

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