The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #40581   Message #585531
Posted By: Uncle Jaque
03-Nov-01 - 10:01 PM
Thread Name: How can I keep from Singing
Subject: RE: Help: How can I keep from Singing
For what it's worth, I found it in a Hymnal borrowed from (and since returned to) the Quaker Meeting-House up in Winthrop, Maine. This was a fairly current Hymnal, and mentioned that a couple of the verses had been inserted since original publication. I got the impression that it was generally considered to have been created in the context of the Quaker tradition and has been preserved and frequently sung therein ever since.

It has been a while since I studied Quaker (not to be confused with "Shaker") theology and history, but I seem to recall that there long has been a broad spectrum of practice and ideaology within the tradition; some Communities are quite structured and reserved, while others seem to emphasize social activisim to the point that "religion" almost seems secondary. Apparantly still other Quaker Meetings are markedly evangelical, charismatic, or hardly discernable from Protestant Fundamentalist "Hellfire and Brimstone" fellowships.

But to say that music is or was not an integral part of the Quaker worship tradition may not, as far as I can tell, be completely accurate. In the Durham ME Meeting I have attended, it is common for someone to get up "as the Spirit moves" and start singing a song, which may or may not be in the Hymnal. If others feel so moved, they pitch right in, sometimes picking up the harmony a cappella. It can be beautifully worshipfull and moving. At the Winthrop Meeting, the Elder I chatted with told about "The Blessing of the Animals" service they hold once a Summer, where all are encouraged to bring dogs, cats, or any other pet that is special to them to Church. Of course they all have to get up front to sing "All God's Chillen Got A Place In The Choir" complete with clapping, woofing, meowing and whatever joyful noises present themselves. I have yet to get in on one, but surely hope to with "The Hooligans" (pair of Yorkie-Poohs). Ya gotta love 'em!

Matter of fact, I've never known a Quaker I didn't like.

BTW, Aine; "How Can I" is a lovely tune on the tin whistle or Irish flute... and times indeed seem ripe for a resurgence of appreciation for some of these old Gospel songs of Hope and Faith.

You should be able to find a score for it online, but if not & u want one, send me your E-dress via PM and I'll try to send U a scanning. I think I have it transcribed to "D" (##) for the whistle.