The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #6051   Message #35311
Posted By: Charlie Baum
18-Aug-98 - 10:15 PM
Thread Name: Parting songs
There are many variants on "Now My Friends the Meeting Is Over," which I've always thought of as a Southern Appalachian song rather than a Shaker one.

1. Mothers, Now our meeting is over, and surely we must part
2. But if I never see you any more, I will love you in my heart
3. And we'll sail on the sea
4. And we'll land on the shore
5. And we'll land on the shore
6. And we'll sing forevermore.

For line 1, you then substitute other family members (Fathers, Brothers, Sisters), or "Now my Friends...". Line 3 is sometimes sung "Land on the shore" like lines 4 and 5, and Line 6 can also be sung as "And be saved forevermore". There are other variations as well. The first time I heard the song, in one week I heard versions by Helen Schneyer, Jean Ritchie, Craig Johnson and a couple of other people as well. (It was Vocal Week at Augusta in 1984.) The version above is my synthesis of all the variants I was exposed to.

--Charlie Baum