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Atheist Hymnal

DigiTrad:
CHRISTIANS AT WAR


Related threads:
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Can An Atheist Sing Believer Songs? (114)
Can a believer sing Atheist songs? (141)
Godless March on Washington - looking for songs (5) (closed)
Lyr Add: Godless America (13)
Can you sing 'Gospel' without Belief? (108)


GUEST,Phil A 07 May 02 - 05:55 PM
RichM 07 May 02 - 06:16 PM
GUEST,JJD 07 May 02 - 06:17 PM
GUEST,RabN 07 May 02 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,Phil A 07 May 02 - 06:22 PM
GUEST 07 May 02 - 06:27 PM
greg stephens 07 May 02 - 06:30 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 07 May 02 - 06:32 PM
GUEST,Phil A 07 May 02 - 06:39 PM
wysiwyg 07 May 02 - 06:43 PM
Ebbie 07 May 02 - 06:47 PM
GUEST 07 May 02 - 06:53 PM
Janice in NJ 07 May 02 - 07:08 PM
Joe Offer 07 May 02 - 09:12 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 07 May 02 - 10:06 PM
Ebbie 07 May 02 - 10:27 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 07 May 02 - 10:54 PM
Ebbie 07 May 02 - 11:02 PM
Troll 07 May 02 - 11:16 PM
Amos 07 May 02 - 11:49 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 07 May 02 - 11:52 PM
Troll 07 May 02 - 11:55 PM
greg stephens 08 May 02 - 04:05 AM
Nigel Parsons 08 May 02 - 04:10 AM
Jeanie 08 May 02 - 04:53 AM
GUEST,The Jester 08 May 02 - 06:34 AM
Grab 08 May 02 - 08:57 AM
Gervase 08 May 02 - 09:18 AM
GUEST 08 May 02 - 09:43 AM
IanC 08 May 02 - 09:53 AM
SharonA 08 May 02 - 09:54 AM
IanC 08 May 02 - 10:07 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 08 May 02 - 10:45 AM
GUEST,Russ 08 May 02 - 11:20 AM
DonD 08 May 02 - 11:20 AM
GUEST,Russ 08 May 02 - 11:22 AM
DonD 08 May 02 - 11:24 AM
Uncle_DaveO 08 May 02 - 11:29 AM
JulieF 08 May 02 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,An Pluiméir Ceolmhar 08 May 02 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,Phil A 08 May 02 - 12:36 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 08 May 02 - 12:59 PM
NightWing 08 May 02 - 01:15 PM
NightWing 08 May 02 - 01:51 PM
Charley Noble 08 May 02 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,Russ 08 May 02 - 03:14 PM
SharonA 08 May 02 - 03:49 PM
GUEST 08 May 02 - 03:52 PM
Jeri 08 May 02 - 05:24 PM
Rick Fielding 08 May 02 - 05:46 PM
GUEST,Arkie 08 May 02 - 07:01 PM
GUEST 08 May 02 - 10:25 PM
GUEST 09 May 02 - 07:30 AM
GUEST,cetmst 09 May 02 - 07:33 AM
BlueSage 10 May 02 - 02:06 AM
DaveJ 10 May 02 - 03:52 AM
Janice in NJ 10 May 02 - 06:55 AM
Mrrzy 10 May 02 - 09:05 AM
SharonA 10 May 02 - 10:14 AM
SharonA 10 May 02 - 11:13 AM
Art Thieme 10 May 02 - 11:58 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 10 May 02 - 12:07 PM
wysiwyg 10 May 02 - 12:26 PM
Art Thieme 10 May 02 - 12:37 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 10 May 02 - 01:43 PM
Roughyed 10 May 02 - 02:28 PM
TheBigPinkLad 10 May 02 - 02:28 PM
SharonA 10 May 02 - 02:42 PM
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Subject: Atheist Hymnal
From: GUEST,Phil A
Date: 07 May 02 - 05:55 PM

Looking for tunes to add to my atheist hymnal. They need to be spiritually uplifting in a non-religeous way. This is not meant to bait the religious among us nor an invite to 'put me straight.' Just wondered what you'd add to a list containing tunes and songs like ... Let it be; Bridge over troubled water; Londonderry Air; You'll never walk alone; etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: RichM
Date: 07 May 02 - 06:16 PM

Let me see: add tunes to an atheist hymnal? the thought boggles...I guess you mean "feel good" songs?


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: GUEST,JJD
Date: 07 May 02 - 06:17 PM

How about "The Whole of The Moon?" Makes my hair stand up when the cannon goes off.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: GUEST,RabN
Date: 07 May 02 - 06:18 PM

I'd have the Flower Duet on it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: GUEST,Phil A
Date: 07 May 02 - 06:22 PM

A Bit more than 'feel good' RichM ... I was looking for something a bit more than that. More like JJD's hair standing up thing. I think ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: GUEST
Date: 07 May 02 - 06:27 PM

Another Train by Pete Morton


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: greg stephens
Date: 07 May 02 - 06:30 PM

"How can I keep from singing"


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 07 May 02 - 06:32 PM

A hymn is "A song of praise or thanksgiving." Praising whom? Giving thanks to whom? Why not call it an Atheist Songbook? The word "hymn" is a little confusing. Sounds like you're looking for uplifting, positive songs. A title like Songs To Lift The spirits (with a small "s' is more like what you're talking about. That in itself is a valid reason for gathering songs together. I think you need to explain why you want to do a book, (or is this just an interesting idea?) and what you'd do with it after you had it?

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: GUEST,Phil A
Date: 07 May 02 - 06:39 PM

I'm not biting Jerry ... just the songs, or not, please.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: wysiwyg
Date: 07 May 02 - 06:43 PM

I don't think Jerry is offering a fight, and I ain't either, but the thread title invites comment, and people will respond to it as they choose. Mudcat discussions work like that.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: Ebbie
Date: 07 May 02 - 06:47 PM

No trolling, Guest- I think it's a valid question. Do you have in mind: something like songs to cheer me when I'm blue? Songs of love and acceptance? Songs to make me less fearful of the dark and the uncertain? Songs for when I've returned to the dust? Songs like 'Mockingbird Hill'? Or 'My Blue Heaven'? Songs of love requited?

Look up 'hymn'- and I suspect you'll rename the concept.

It's kind of like having a non-christian Christmas.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: GUEST
Date: 07 May 02 - 06:53 PM

It's kind of like having a non-christian Christmas

LOL!

Isn't that the kind of Christmas that the vast majoity of us have?

It is an interesting idea though. So far the posts have been 'songs for when you feel bad'

Maybe we need more sections.

WYSIWYG?

Were you trying to incite something? Sure sounded like it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 07 May 02 - 07:08 PM

Try Phil Ochs' Canons of Christianity. I would also suggest the 18th century German student song Die Gedanken Sind Frei. If you are unfamiliar with it, click here. Another possibility is English folksong The Vicar of Bray, popularized by the late Ricahrd Dyer-Bennett. And don't forget to include the Pete Seeger - Arlo Guthrie parody of Old Time Religion.

Come to think of it, an atheist hymnal is a wonderful idea. I do, however, prefer to call myself a free thinker rather than an atheist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 May 02 - 09:12 PM

Take a look at Song of the Soul, but Cris Williamson. It's one that tugs at the old heartstrings. Holly Near did a great recording of it.
You might also look at songs by Pat Humphries - a search for Humphries will turn up quite a few.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 07 May 02 - 10:06 PM

No, I wasn't trying to start an argument at all. I guess it comes from my work-life. When people came to me with an idea, I'd ask them questions, just to try to focus their thinking... who is your audience? was always the first one. You've defined that. Why do you want to do it? was another obvious question. Too many good ideas get sidetracked because they aren't thought out early enough in the beginning. Me a troll? Sheesh!!! If you read my message I said that I thought that it was a worthwhile project if it was to lift people's spirits.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: Ebbie
Date: 07 May 02 - 10:27 PM

Oh, dear. Jerry, my comment about trolling wasn't directed at you. Obviously I didn't make it clear, but I meant to respond to Guest's I'm not biting Jerry ... comment. Sheesh, right back at ya. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 07 May 02 - 10:54 PM

Dear Ebbie: Nah!, I didn't express myself clearly. I should have directed my comments to guest. I get confused when other people respond to a previous message and don't make it clear who they're responding to. The person just before them tends to think it's them. I read your comment as you made it... to the Guest saying that I wasn't trolling. I also didn't think that WYSIWYG was trying to pick a fight. Another Sheesh!!! I don't find anything about this thread offensive. It's just that when a word has one commonly accepted meaning, and you use it to mean something very different, I think that it causes confusion. And I was wondering why Guest chose to ask for songs for an Atheist Hymnal. Just asking...

I can think of a lot of positive songs that have nothing to do with God. (Funny, I always associate You'll Never Walk Alone as very much an implied relationship with God.) I could add (Guest) I Got Plenty Of Nothing, which I've always loved, especially by the Tokens. Or how about Zippidee Doo Dah?

Talking about confusing titles, I did a workshop at a folk festival once titled Love Without Romance. What I meant was songs about love that weren't in the boy/girl, June/spoon style. Like Old Blue (a song that obviously is based on a man's love for his dog.) Most people thought I meant Motel Love, or contemporary "love." Kleenex love. Dispose after using.

It only goes to show. Atheists can be as touchy as Christians. :-)

I enjoy your posts, Ebbie..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: Ebbie
Date: 07 May 02 - 11:02 PM

hahhahah. Well, I never!

Your talking about 'love'as opposed to 'love', Jerry, makes me think of a scrap of a song I once sang in front of my scandalized mother. It goes something like 'Do you want to make love, or do you want to fool around?' My mother didn't hear the underlying message which was, 'do you want to enter into a love relationship or do you plan on just fooling around'. Pretty much the same idea as your workshop.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: Troll
Date: 07 May 02 - 11:16 PM

"In My Life" The Beatles

"Blue Skys" Irving Berlin

"Summertime" Gershwin

Almost anything by Cole Porter

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: Amos
Date: 07 May 02 - 11:49 PM

"Raise Your Children Well", Crosby, Stills, Nash

And why should there not be humanist-oriented hymns, in praise of the human spirit? It is arguably the only reason we're still around. Worthy of praise if you ask me. Think how dull it would be without us!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 07 May 02 - 11:52 PM

Fuck hymn
Fuck hymn
Fuck hymn
Fuck hymn
Fuck hymn
Fuck HYMN

Within the Digital Trad and recent MC archives can be found this HYMN sung to the tune of Auld Lang Sin.

Just curious....because this IS A MUSICAL THREAD WHY did you elect to call it B.S. ????

Sincerely,
Gargoyle
Hi, garg - I meant to change the thread title yesterday, but didn't get around to it until this morning. Generally, I try to add BS: to all non-music threads (with a few exceptions), and delete if from music threads.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: Troll
Date: 07 May 02 - 11:55 PM

The lyrics need work, Garg. They're a trifle repetative.
Not a criticism you understand. Just a suggestion.

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: greg stephens
Date: 08 May 02 - 04:05 AM

Well, I dont find the concept of an atheist hymnal at all unlikely or oxymoronic or anything.We can sing in thanks or praise or resignation or whatever(with all the content andemotion of Christian hymns) about things as they are, and how they hang together. We dont have to include a name that personifies whateverforce brought them into being. That's why I suggested "How can I keep from singing" an old song (I think) with all the structure feel and sentiment of a hymn which notably doesnt mention any God at all. Mind you, if I was constructing an atheist hymnal I'd stuff it with good Christian hymns. Why should God have all the best tunes? Not believing a word of it has never stopped me singing Cwm Rhonnda or "The day thou gavest" with great fervour.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 08 May 02 - 04:10 AM

Jerry: I always see "You'll never walk alone" as religious as well, (even when sung on the football terraces). Maybe that comes of remembering the original setting in "Carousel"

Nigel


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: Jeanie
Date: 08 May 02 - 04:53 AM

All these John Denver songs: "Poems, Prayers and Promises", "Looking for Space", "I Want to Live" and, most of all, "Sweet Surrender". Has anyone here done any of the "OUTLOOK" awareness courses ??? If so, you will definitely remember listening to the last one.

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: GUEST,The Jester
Date: 08 May 02 - 06:34 AM

Rest your self neath the strength of strings no voice could hope to hum


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: Grab
Date: 08 May 02 - 08:57 AM

"Annie's song", "Over the rainbow" - nice cheery songs.

My person favourite would be "The show must go on" by Queen. If that's not an uplifting song, I don't know what is!

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: Gervase
Date: 08 May 02 - 09:18 AM

I'd vote for What's the Life of a Man or Only Remembered as good secular hymns, and with good choruses as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: GUEST
Date: 08 May 02 - 09:43 AM

The Show Must Go On???

Whatever happens, I'll leave it all to chance
Another heartache, another failed romance
On and on, does anybody know what we are living for?

Mmmm, really uplifting...


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: IanC
Date: 08 May 02 - 09:53 AM

Gervase

Sorry, don't think you can use Life of a Man it's from Isaiah and was probably originally a Puritan Song (I think).

:-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: SharonA
Date: 08 May 02 - 09:54 AM

"He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother"

"Turning of the World" by Ruth Pelham (it's in Rise Up Singing)

"Make Your Own Kind of Music" by Cass Elliot (Mama Cass)


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: IanC
Date: 08 May 02 - 10:07 AM

Damn. Life of A Man.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 08 May 02 - 10:45 AM

I like the idea of a hymn-book, but gag on the word "atheist". An atheist is certain that no such entity as a "god" exists in our universe. But given the size and complexity of our universe, how can anyone be that sure about its contents? Who keeps the inventory?

Say that you can't believe this crazy world is governed by an all-wise, all-powerful, and infinitely compassionate being, and I'll agree. Say that the deities worshipped throughout most of humanity's history are reported to have behaved in a manner that any gentleman would be ashamed of, and I'll shout "here here"! Say that no divine being has ever favoured you with a personal communication, and I'll add "me neither!" But say there cannot possibly be any such thing as a god in the universe, and I'll ask "how do you know?" And while the jury is still out, why throw away the baby of spirituality along with the bathwater of superstition?

Most sceptics, free-thinkers and non-joiners – and even some downright atheists – can still be overcome by a feeling of awe when contemplating the mysteries of the cosmos. (Seen the latest pics from Hubble ?… Wow!). Likewise, we know that despite the horrid way we sometimes treat each other, humans are capable of deeds of transcendent goodness. And many of us who don't acknowledge any god of the traditional sort occasionally experience moments of spiritual elevation, when we feel a part of some greater whole, bound together by mutual love.

Maybe this feeling of blessed connectedness is an occasional random gift from some higher being that is usually indifferent to us? Perhaps it's just a rush of endorphins to the brain? Or could it be the Force that Obi-Wan and Yoda taught Luke about in another galaxy, long ago and far away? Anyhow, music and song are certainly very good at summoning it up, and spreading it around.

So, why not have a book full of the kind of songs that bring non-believers closer to each other, and to the great cosmic whatever-it-is. Previous contributors have already suggested some worthy candidates. My own wish-list includes traditional hymns more concerned with fellowship than with theology, like "Jerusalem", "Amazing Grace" and "To be a Pilgrim." Also, relics from the deep tradition like the Padstow May Song, and more recent songs with traditional roots, like "Row On". Alongside them, I'd put secular folk-anthems like "The Bells of Rhymney", "Rolling Home", and "Unison in Harmony". And finally, a few out-and-out pop songs like "Stand by Me", and "I Can See Clearly Now". There must be many equally worthy candidates that are familiar to some of us, and unknown to others. More suggestions please.

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 08 May 02 - 11:20 AM

Although I hesitate to call it a "feel good" song, I highly recommend Utah Phillips' "Golden Mansions" as a "reply" to the religious songs that pop up in jams and song circles. It is a very "adult" song in the old sense of "adult" when it meant "for grownups" instead of "pornographic." Great tune, good words, interesting ideas (easy to dance to, give it a 75).


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: DonD
Date: 08 May 02 - 11:20 AM

Neatly said, agnostic MikeofNorthumbria. (BTW is there a southumbria?)

But 'gagging' on the word 'atheist' seems to me to bea little strong a reaction. If you mean, "You're SURE? Gee, I just don't know." it shouldn't make it hard to keep your lunch down.

It's a given that it's damn near impossible to prove a negative, but why is it required to prove anything to be an atheist more than it is of a believer to prove the existence of whichever god he worships. In fact, to benefit under existing US laws, atheism is a religion maybe not an oxymoron, but certainly an irony.

I take it that in curerent usage, atheism means rejection of the god or gods generally credited as being all-knowing, all-powerful, all-anything. There is no denial of the existence of spritual values such as embodied in Ethical Humanism.

Maybe it's just chemistry -- or whatever. We can appreciate it and celebrate it but we don't have to worship it. "To the DNA the glory!" I think not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 08 May 02 - 11:22 AM

Just thought of another great Utah Phillips' song, "Room for the Poor."

By the way, I could tell exactly what you wanted from the thread title.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: DonD
Date: 08 May 02 - 11:24 AM

OOps! I forgot it's a musical thread.

"The Mary Ellen Carter" "Hard Times"

"Whisky, You're My Darling" (just kidding, or maybe not)


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 08 May 02 - 11:29 AM

MikeofNorthumbria said:

"An atheist is certain that no such entity as a "god" exists in our universe."

Not so. An atheist is one who believes that no such entity etc. etc.

There's a subtle but significant difference between belief and certainty. There are many who believe in the existence of God (or a god) but can't prove it. They are still believers. To be an atheist is not to be required to prove a negative; is is enough to believe the negative. Doesn't prove the atheist is right, but simply proves that the atheist IS an atheist.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: JulieF
Date: 08 May 02 - 11:46 AM

I hesitate to continue this - but my take on athiesm is that to my mind, given the evidence , the balance of probabilities is that there is no supreeme being and that will stand for me until I see some other evidence that convinces me otherwise. What is more important is , having reached that decision, what I choose to do with my life. That is what makes me me a secluar humanist. I belive ( and I do use belive at this point in the arguement) that if there is no god(s) then it is up to us to do the best for all around us. NOW.

I am not keen on the title - athiest hymnal - why exclude people who may appreciate the songs. There is one specific one that I'm thinking of but I will have to go home and look for the CD.

All the best

Julie


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: GUEST,An Pluiméir Ceolmhar
Date: 08 May 02 - 12:18 PM

Amos beat me to the draw on "Teach your children". Pending its adoption as a national anthem for a non-nationalist state, it's a definite for inclusion in what (in the light of some other posts) you might like to re-title "A non-religious hymnal" or "An agnostic hymnal", or perhaps "Hymnal for a secular era".

Blessed are the cheesemakers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: GUEST,Phil A
Date: 08 May 02 - 12:36 PM

Thanks for some excellent contributions... I have just been reminded of one I haven't thought about in years; when I was a bit of a lad we used to drink in a pub in Shildon (County Durham, England)called the King Willie. It was full of big, rough, mean welders and pipefitters who drank like fish and would thump you for looking at them sidelong. Friday night was sing-a-long night, but you weren't allowed to sing Elvis Presley's 'Old Shep' until the last song of the night as it made some of them cry!


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 08 May 02 - 12:59 PM

Good point someone made. Can I sing along with you folks, even though I'm a believer? Seems only fair that it not be exclusionary. I know a lot of Atheists and Agnostics who enjoy singing along on gospel songs... good choruses, easy to learn, and you're not excluded from singing because you don't believe the words. Maybe that's why a few people have questioned the need to call it an Atheist Hymnal. Any songs that help to bring people together are allright with me.... and I love to sing most of the songs listed here.

Aw C'mon guys (and girls)! I'm happy if you want to sing gospel even though you don't think a word of it is true. Can I, huh?

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: NightWing
Date: 08 May 02 - 01:15 PM

Uncle DaveO's comment is quite accurate. This is what makes atheism a 'religious belief' same as Christianity or whatever else.

That said, I enjoy singing the songs listed and get a lift of my spirit when I do so.

BB,
NightWing


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: NightWing
Date: 08 May 02 - 01:51 PM

... and Julie's comment notwithstanding, there is no evidence in EITHER direction, supporting the existence or non-existence of any Supreme Being/Creator/whatever you will.

A real skeptic's only choice is agnosticism. (So why is NightWing a witch? *LOL*)

BB, NightWing


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Subject: ADD Version: Thanksgiving Eve (Bob Franke)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 May 02 - 02:08 PM

Perhaps, Bob Franke's "Thanksgiving Eve" fits into this hymnal, although I suspect Franke is a "believer," just not one who can abide established religions. I'll paste in the version I sing with its extra verse and some folk processing:

Words and music by Bob Franke ©

THANKSGIVING EVE


It's so easy to dream of the days gone by,
So hard to think of the times to come,
And the grace to accept every moment as a gift
Is a gift that is granted to some.

Chorus:
What can we do with our days but work and hope,
Let our dreams bind our work to our play;
What can we do with every moment of our lives
But love till we've loved it away,
Love till we've loved it away.

There are sorrows enough for the whole world's end,
There are no guarantees but the grave,
And the friends that we meet and the love that we share,
Are treasures too precious to say. (CHO)

Each moment will pass like winter into spring,
Quickly enough on its own,
But a memory's made in the weaving of a day,
So let not a thread slip the loom.(CHO)


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheist Hymnal
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 08 May 02 - 03:14 PM

Dave O, gotta disagree with your distinction (very respectfully of course).

I agree with JulieF. An atheist can legitimately say something elaborate like "To the best of my knowledge or as far as I can tell, there is no God. I am as certain of that as I think I need to be to make such a claim." The same atheist can also legitimately say in the interests of bevity, "I am certain that no such entity as a "god" exists in our universe."

NightWing, I used to profess agnosticism and once was an agnostic. But I finally realized that I was not uncertain. The question then was whether to be honest with myself and others that I might inform about my beliefs.


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Subject: RE: Atheist Hymnal
From: SharonA
Date: 08 May 02 - 03:49 PM

Charley: As far as I know, Bob Franke is a Quaker. If I'm mistaken, someone please correct me.


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Subject: RE: Atheist Hymnal
From: GUEST
Date: 08 May 02 - 03:52 PM

apathetic agnosticism -- or should it be agnostic apatheticism? Anyway -- don't know, don't care.

There's a neat hymn called "Slowly, Slowly, They Return," by Wendell Berry that praises the life cycle without giving credit to any particular deity. You'll find it and a bunch more like it in the most recent Unitarian Universalist hymnal.

Hope there's room in your hymnal for John Prine's "Pretty Good." An atheist hymnal really ought to take a poke or two at organized religions, shouldn't it? Recommend "Don't You Hear Jerusalem Moan" or that sendup of "Old Time Religion" found in Rise Up Singing.


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Subject: RE: Atheist Hymnal
From: Jeri
Date: 08 May 02 - 05:24 PM

I almost posted a link to Thanksgiving Eve in the DT last night but gave up on the thread when it looked like it was going to get completely side-tracked into another flame war about beliefs. Bob Franke is religious - not sure if he's a Quaker. His songs, however, aren't just for people of his faith. They pull people in - they DO NOT shut them out. Most of these songs are about that bright spark in the human spirit some call God and others call "that bright spark in the human spirit." In any group of folks singing the same song, that song is going to mean something different to each and every one.

Nobody mentioned "Lean on Me" yet.


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Subject: RE: Atheist Hymnal
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 08 May 02 - 05:46 PM

If someone's mentioned this before, please excuse me, but I gathered that "Atheist Hymnal" was just a mild little joke title......similar to "Posthumous Memoirs" (Lee Hays) or "Memoirs of an Amnesiac" (Oscar Levant)

I'm pretty unfocused about superior powers, but boy do I love Bob Zentz's "Til All Thy Names Are One". It's one fine song, and if I was havin' a good night, I probably could have gotten Madilyn Murray O'Hare to sing along with it!

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Atheist Hymnal
From: GUEST,Arkie
Date: 08 May 02 - 07:01 PM

"Love is Like Magic Penny" by Malvina Reynolds while not a "feel good" song does put a little emphasis on positive though radical living. I consider "Across the Borderline" and "Suzanne" as thought provoking songs. Does that qualify?


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Subject: RE: Atheist Hymnal
From: GUEST
Date: 08 May 02 - 10:25 PM

What's wrong with an atheist singing reigious songs. After all, if you are an atheist, then God doesn't exist, therefore, all religious music would come under the heading of folklore.

Whether you believe in the existence of a supreme creator doesn't alter the fact that the concepts of after life, heaven, hell, and angels are completely ingrained in our culture, and should be fair game for the subject or content of songs.


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Subject: RE: Atheist Hymnal
From: GUEST
Date: 09 May 02 - 07:30 AM

Turning Toward the Morning - Come By the Hills - In the Light of the Burning Trees - Deep Seated Peace - Morning Has Broken- The Rose - Never Turning Back - Blowing in the Wind - The Sound of Music - Many more but thee are off the top of my head early in the morning. A lot of inspirational songs imply that there is a Supreme Being without mentioning her directly. Atheists can be caring, altruistic, "Christian" people without a belief in God, but there's a first cause somewhere. I would like a copy of Guest Phil A's hymnal when it's published. - Charles Taylor


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Subject: RE: Atheist Hymnal
From: GUEST,cetmst
Date: 09 May 02 - 07:33 AM

Didn't get my member name in previous reply - CET


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Subject: RE: Atheist Hymnal
From: BlueSage
Date: 10 May 02 - 02:06 AM

A good candidate for inclusion in a secular hymnal would be 'Bridges' by Bill Staines. I transcribed the words in another thread and you should (if I did this right) find it here: http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=47091&messages=32#707907

Mike


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Subject: RE: Atheist Hymnal
From: DaveJ
Date: 10 May 02 - 03:52 AM

How about John Lennon's "Imagine?" I always think of it as sort of an anarchist lullaby.

DaveJ


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Subject: RE: Atheist Hymnal
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 10 May 02 - 06:55 AM

Unlike Mike, I don't gag on the word atheist, but I do prefer the term free thinker. But whatever term I use, I do not want to get dragged into an assinine argument about some god, goddess, spirit, supreme being, life force that binds the universe, or whatever anyone chooses to call him/her/it! My thoughts and my feelings are simple: all religion is not only born of ignorance and supersition, it is also responsible for bringing out the worst behavior in human beings.


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Subject: RE: Atheist Hymnal
From: Mrrzy
Date: 10 May 02 - 09:05 AM

Be Kind To Your Parents


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Subject: RE: Atheist Hymnal
From: SharonA
Date: 10 May 02 - 10:14 AM

Like Charles Taylor, I had thought of "Morning Has Broken". However, unfortunately for the Atheist Hymnal concept, the lyrics include the phrase "God's recreation of the new day" and references to "His feet", and to creation theory (alluding to "Eden" and "the first morning"). There's also a hint of that annoying God-created-the-universe-just-for-me attitude in the phrase "mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning".

It's a beautiful song, but it ain't atheist!


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Subject: ADD: Meeting of the Waters & Begone Dull Care
From: SharonA
Date: 10 May 02 - 11:13 AM

Hmmm... the second paragraph of my last post seems to have disappeared into the ether. All I said there was that "Morning Has Broken" is indeed a beautiful song, even though I don't think it can be considered "atheist".

More submissions for the Atheist Hymnal: "Home on the Range", "Home Sweet Home" ("...there's no place like home..."), "Old Man River", "The Water Is Wide", "The Meeting of the Waters", "Begone, Dull Care".

I'll post lyrics for those last two, for those who aren't familiar with the songs:


THE MEETING OF THE WATERS

There is not in the wide world a valley so sweet
As that vale in whose bosom the bright waters meet
Oh! The last rays of feeling and life must depart
Ere the bloom of that valley shall fade from my heart
Ere the bloom of that valley shall fade from my heart.

Yet it was not that nature had shed o'er the scene
Her purest of crystal and brightest of green
'Twas not her soft magic of streamlet or hill
Oh, no! It was something more exquisite still
Oh, no! It was something more exquisite still.

'Twas that friends, the belov'd of my bosom were near
Who made every dear scene of enchantment more dear
And who felt how the best charms of nature improve
When we see them reflected from looks that we love
When we see them reflected from looks that we love.

Sweet vale of Avoca! How calm could I rest
In thy bosom of shade, with the friends I love best
Where the storms that we feel in this cold world should cease
And our hearts, like thy waters, be mingled in peace
And our hearts, like thy waters, be mingled in peace.

(The name Avoca means "meeting of the waters" or "a watering spout of knowledge"; the Vale of Avoca is in Ireland.)
(Curiously, the parody of this song is in the DigiTrad – Digital Tradition archive – but not the original!)


BEGONE, DULL CARE!

Begone, dull care!
I prithee, begone from me
Begone, dull care!
You and I shall never agree
Long time hast thou been tarrying here
And fain thou wouldst me kill
But in faith, dull care
Thou never shall have thy will.

Too much care
Will make a man turn grey
And too much care
Will turn an old man to clay
My wife shall dance and I shall sing
So merrily pass the day
For I hold it one of the wisest things
To drive dull care away.

(Also see "Drive Dull Care Away" version in the DigiTrad archive: [click])


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Subject: RE: Atheist Hymnal
From: Art Thieme
Date: 10 May 02 - 11:58 AM

Look, guys, this is a valid request from this GUEST. I'm reminded of a line in Somerset Maugham's fine novel about the main character, Larry Darrell, when someone takes note of the fact that, "Larry, you are simply an extremely spiritual man who doesn't believe in God."

Try songs like

Gordon Bok's "Turning Toward The Morning"--- written about somebody we both know, Jerry.
"Simple Gifts"----
the balld "The Bitter Withy"---
"The Friggin' Falcon"---
"Come All You Hardy Miners" (a labor song of organizing in the coal mines -- and many others)---
Joanie Mitchell's "Circle Game"---
"Come And Go With Me To That Land" (which can be simply a song about going from "here" to "there")---
"Deadheads and Suckers How Can You Live -- when good men are dying every day"
Tom Dundee's great song "Delicate Balance"
"Down By The Riverside"
"From Here On Up" --the hills don't get any higher but the hollers get deeper and deeper
"The Fox" (a song about wholesome family values and teaching the young about the realities of breadwinning.
"Amazing Grace"--sung to the Gilligan's Island theme song
"God Don't Like Ugly"--baby your home is in hell
"God Rest Ye Jerry Mendelbaum"(from Allan Sherman
"Master Of The Sheepfold"---maybe just about sheep and / or religiousinclusiveness...
"The Green Grass Grew All Around"
"Guabi Guabi" -- make it mean whatever you want it to mean
"A Handfull Of Songs" (ANOTHER kind of immortality--by Jerry Rasmussen)
"Hang Me Oh Hang Me"
"Here's To You Rounders" a pro-responsibility song
"Here's To Cheschire" / "Froggy Went A Courtin'" a matrimonial song showing that life will do to us what it will in spite of good intentions
"He Was A Friend Of Mine"
"100 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall"
"I'm On My Way And I Won't Turn Back"
"I Believe If I Lived My Life Again"--a sort of Buddhist hymn by Utah Phillips
"I Don't Want To Be Lost In The Slums"
"Michael Row The Boat Ashore"
"Passing Through"
"Pie In The Sky" by Joe Hill
"The Stories We Could Tell" by John Sebastian
"Strangest Dream" by Ed McCurdy
"Thanksgiving Eve" by Bob Franke
"Walkie In The Parlor"--an alternate (Irish) view of the creation
"WE Shall Overcome"

I'll end with a medley:

"Yiddish Is A Loving Tongue"

and

"Yassir, He's My Baby, No Sir, I Don't mean Maybe"

And these are only from my song list.

This fellow is looking for songs that are philosophically humanist and positive while not diving into the God myth that so many think of as "gospel".

Taken with all the other religions and philosophical systems of this world, the myth of Jehovah is just one of many---including pagan, Buddhist, Jewish and EVERYTHING ELSE.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Atheist Hymnal
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 10 May 02 - 12:07 PM

Hi, Art:

No disagreement on the validity of the songbook. Some folks are just questioning the meaning of the two words in the title. This IS Mudcat...:-) You could start a whole thread on "what is an Atheist?" (I don't recommend it.) Or "What is a hymn?" As often happens, quoting Websters dictionary doesn't resolve the questions, because people have their own meanings for words and don't care what the dictionary says. But, if a book like this was printed (which I think is a fine idea) the title would be important.

That's my only point... I even suggested a couple of songs. I could add plenty more... Come Together by the Youngbloods, Give Me The Simple Life,and on and on...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Atheist Hymnal
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 May 02 - 12:26 PM

Yes, just because someone states a reaction to the thread doesn't mean the thread, the person posting it, or the concept is being attacked. I've been reminded of that many a time by people who thought I was silly to object when someone went after me much more viciously than the short and clear posts Jerry and I made!

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Atheist Hymnal
From: Art Thieme
Date: 10 May 02 - 12:37 PM

Jerry, my man, please, no intention on my part of indicating I'd thought you meant anything other than what you said above. YES, you are correct, the "atheist hymnal" aspect only means that this song book might reflect how being an atheist is just another belief among so very many that possibly ought to be viewed as valid and as important as one's own.

(By the way (thread creep) all is good here pretty much and Chloe is gonna stay the night tomorrow so her parents can get to a concert.----(I miss our old letters -- and my old typewriter)

Love,

Art


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Subject: RE: Atheist Hymnal
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 10 May 02 - 01:43 PM

Hi, Art:

I got taken to task by Terry K on another thread... "Why does Prayer Scare People?" when I said that Atheists have their own belief system. I think these discussion are fine, and for the most part reasonably tempered. Wondering about the title of this book is probably foolish to begin with. I don't even know if the Guest who posted this, or the other thread took it seriously or just posted them to provoke controversy. They don't seem to actively participate in the discussion. Maybe that's all right, too.

I have a batch of photos of the Messengers working on their CD and doing their fifth anniversary concert... I'll send them off in the next couple of days.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Atheist Hymnal
From: Roughyed
Date: 10 May 02 - 02:28 PM

There's a great one in the Digitrad called 'Zen Gospel Singing'. Buddhists are atheists too.


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Subject: RE: Atheist Hymnal
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 10 May 02 - 02:28 PM

This is PhilA who posted the original message ... I signed up as a bona fide Catter and got me a handle.

I'm not evil, honest. I didn't make the request to wind people up and I'm reading every message. I'm not 'actively participating in the discussion' because as I said right up front I had, and have, no intention of doing so. I'm simply piecing together a list of spritually-moving songs that are not theocentric (if that's a word). I really had not thought about publishing it, but as you have all been so helpful I will post it to my website (or here if it proves not-too-exhaustive). I have a favourite movie list too, and I like the colour blue.


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Subject: RE: Atheist Hymnal
From: SharonA
Date: 10 May 02 - 02:42 PM

I don't think Harry Chapin's "Circle" ("...all my life's a circle...") has been mentioned... or did I miss it going by?


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Subject: RE: Atheist Hymnal
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 10 May 02 - 04:01 PM

Kate Wolf's "Across the Great Divide."


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Subject: RE: Atheist Hymnal
From: GUEST,MAG at work
Date: 10 May 02 - 04:36 PM

ANYTHING by Kate W.

What happened to my post from home this a.m.?

"Come sing a song with me" "Let it be a dance"


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Subject: RE: Atheist Hymnal
From: wysiwyg
Date: 10 May 02 - 07:32 PM

No worries, Phil/new member/TheBigPinkLad, I think you're super. Keep in mind though that some things will turn out as a windup around here, intended or not.

~S~


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