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congregational singing of folk songs

Kent Davis 24 Nov 03 - 12:13 AM
Charcloth 24 Nov 03 - 12:58 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 24 Nov 03 - 10:33 AM
GUEST,MMario 24 Nov 03 - 10:42 AM
wysiwyg 24 Nov 03 - 10:56 AM
GUEST,MMario 24 Nov 03 - 10:58 AM
Peace 24 Nov 03 - 10:59 AM
wysiwyg 24 Nov 03 - 11:24 AM
Pooby 24 Nov 03 - 11:53 AM
Blackcatter 24 Nov 03 - 07:06 PM
Burke 24 Nov 03 - 07:58 PM
Kent Davis 24 Nov 03 - 10:06 PM
Cluin 24 Nov 03 - 10:25 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 24 Nov 03 - 10:32 PM
BO in KY 24 Nov 03 - 11:34 PM
Blackcatter 25 Nov 03 - 12:02 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 25 Nov 03 - 09:42 AM
Blackcatter 25 Nov 03 - 11:52 PM
Ceallaigh 26 Nov 03 - 01:38 AM
The Fooles Troupe 26 Nov 03 - 06:00 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 26 Nov 03 - 07:55 AM
Burke 26 Nov 03 - 12:24 PM
The Fooles Troupe 26 Nov 03 - 05:46 PM
Burke 26 Nov 03 - 06:08 PM
GUEST 02 Feb 12 - 07:09 PM
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Subject: congregational singing of folk songs
From: Kent Davis
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 12:13 AM

Our congregation (the church of Christ in Reno, Ohio)sings several folk songs, including "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus", "God Is So Good", "I'm Happy Today", "Love, Love" and others. What folk songs does your congregation know?


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Subject: RE: congregational singing of folk songs
From: Charcloth
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 12:58 AM

Same ones too also, "Alleluia", "Bound for the Promised Land", "Jesus Loves Me", "Morning has Broken","Sweet, Sweet, Spirit"
Where is Reno Ohio (I'm from the Cincinnati area)


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Subject: RE: congregational singing of folk songs
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 10:33 AM

Many congregations sing Let Us Break Bread Together. We sang Do Lord last Sunday, and we also sing This Train Is Bound For Glory. I guess you're talking "Folk Gospel."

I'm laying odds on how many more answers you get before someone says these are just popular old gospel songs, not folk songs. :-)

Jerry


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Subject: RE: congregational singing of folk songs
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 10:42 AM

WYSIWYG is a good one to talk about this with...


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Subject: RE: congregational singing of folk songs
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 10:56 AM

We do more than I could list, but we don't think of them as folk songs. We do a lot of spirituals, but we do them nore authentically than most folk books or folked-up recorded versions reflect. We do them in a weekly service. Mmario, what was that thread recently that described.... Skarpi's thread... I'm just too pressed for time to get into this right now, but yes I do have a lot of resources to share.

~S~


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Subject: RE: congregational singing of folk songs
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 10:58 AM

folkmass

The link above is for the thread Wysiwyg referenced


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Subject: RE: congregational singing of folk songs
From: Peace
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 10:59 AM

Get in touch with the National Evangelical Team (they are in Canada; I don't know if there is something similar in the States) and they can direct you to some 'Christian' CDs that will work--and help y'all get away from the same old songs. Their phone number in Toronto is

613-521-4426

Their Fax # is   613-521-2541


Good luck.


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Subject: RE: congregational singing of folk songs
From: wysiwyg
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 11:24 AM

Duh, why have I not posted this sooner? Our music is described here:

THE GOOD NEWS-GOODTIME BAND

Hey MMario, can you post a review of our worship and songleading style here at Mudcat that I can add to the one HERE?

~S~


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Subject: RE: congregational singing of folk songs
From: Pooby
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 11:53 AM

Kent:

Try this site:
http://members.tripod.com/~onelord/index_NJ.html

It has lots of material I've used to good effect at church services, vespers, devotionals and camping/retreat programs.

Good luck, and have fun.

Pooby


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Subject: RE: congregational singing of folk songs
From: Blackcatter
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 07:06 PM

Most of the songs listed above appear to be hymns - which I know overlaps the general category of Folk - but it's difficult to determine what is Folk and what is not.

In my Unitarian Universalist church we sing hymns that were composed by classical composers (or at least the music), but the majority are spirituals, or songs like 'Tis A Gift To Be Simple (words by Joseph Bracket) - and is that Folk?

I'm no expert in traditional Christian hymns because Unitarian Universalism embraces the spirituality of many wonderful and diverse faiths, so that Christianity is only part of our energy, but When looking at Christmas Carols - many of them appear to be Folk. It Silent Night? Written by a priest (not a professional lyricist). As for the contributions of Unitarian's to Chirstmas: Once in Royal David's City, I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day, and It Came Upon a Midnight Clear: Two of those were written by Unitarian Ministers, the middle one, but Longfellow.

I would argue that much of what we in our church sing that is from the hymnal is Folk to some extent. On top of that, we supplement the hymnal with many, many other songs including Folk songs from the U.S. and around the world. We recently had a service led by members of our church who are native South Africans and they had us singing in English, Afrikkan (sp?) and Zulu.

For years, I've used Mudcat as a resource for songs for the occasional service I lead at my church or other UU churches throughout Florida.


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Subject: RE: congregational singing of folk songs
From: Burke
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 07:58 PM

I only recognize the 1st 2 titles listed, so I'm not quite sure what you're after. I have an old Church of Christ hymnal that has lots of hymns & gospel songs with roots in folk tradition. The one I have was published in the 1920's or 30's & has an appendix from the 60's.

What I remember in it are "Grace 'tis a Charming Sound" to the tune Cranbrook, "Oh how I love Jesus," one of the "On Jordan's Stormy Banks" tunes & a setting of Lennox (a fuging tune). It also has an unaccompanied arrangement of the Hallelujah Chorus. I think it would be grand to do that with a congregation. I think it might have Wayfaring Stranger and Happy Land.

Lots of newer hymnals have tried to include folk hymns & spirituals more than in the past. Our congregation uses those in the hymnal (Episcopal) but does not go outside that. Off the top of my head ones we have are: Wondrous Love, Amazing Grace (naturally), My Shepherd will Supply my need, Holy Manna (new words), Jerusalem my Happy Home (new words)

Does your church use a 7 shape note hymnal? If so, do you have singing schools to help people learn to read the music & sing the harmonies?


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Subject: RE: congregational singing of folk songs
From: Kent Davis
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 10:06 PM

CHARCLOTH, Reno is on the Ohio, about halfway between Cinncinnati and Pittsburgh, about 12 miles from Parkersburg, WV, and just upstream from Marietta, OH.
JERRY RASMUSSEN, Are these just popular old gospel songs? I'm no expert, but I thought they were actual folk songs (in the sense that they have no known author and are circulating in different versions). I personally have sung different variants (in different congregations)of the first three mentioned songs.
MMARIO, WYSIWYG, BRUCIE, and POOBY, Thanks so much for your references!
BLACKCATTER, It must have been interesting to sing in Zulu and Afrikaans. I don't know the original language, but apparently "God Is So Good" is African. "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus" is from Assam, India.
BURKE, Yes, we do use shape notes and yes we occasionally have a "singing school".


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Subject: RE: congregational singing of folk songs
From: Cluin
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 10:25 PM

Our congregation shouts out "Rag up your kilt!" during Wild Rover. And calls out the answering "Hey Now!" in Iko Iko. And a few other well rehearsed drunken shouts in other songs. And just a general greet-for-all during Rant & Roar.

Our congregation consists of the shifting faces at the pub we regularly play at. Like we say during the "SOCIABLE!" toast a few times a night, where we bid them drain their glasses, then around and introduce yourself to someone you don't know and shake their hand:
"This is just like church... but with beer".


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Subject: RE: congregational singing of folk songs
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 10:32 PM

Hey, Kent: I think the first three I mentioned ARE folk songs... but I'm not sure about some of the others. There's a new hymnal published in the last year that has a lot of old gospel in it, titled: African American Heritage Hymnal published by GIA Publications, Inc, out of Chicago. I sing in a black Baptist Men's Chorus, and we sing a lot of folk gospel.

Let Us Break Bread Together goes back to the days of slavery, and is folk. This Little Light Of Mine is another folk song commonly sung in church. I'm no expert on gospel, Kent.

Just sing it.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: congregational singing of folk songs
From: BO in KY
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 11:34 PM

There are many hymns that are based on folk tunes - one could argue that all hymns are based on folk tunes!
Surely too many to list. I am most familiar with the blue (1990) Presbyterian Hymnal, and a few representative examples that are familiar to my congregation and work well with guitar or autoharp:

"Though I May Speak" is beautifully set to "Waly Waly" (or "The Water is Wide")

The Evening Hymn "Day is Done" is set to the tune of "All Thru the Night"

"Simple Gifts" as mentioned earlier may be classified as folk, and is the basis for the folk hymn from the 60s "Lord of The Dance"

The early American hymns "How Firm a Foundation" and "Wondrous Love" are beautiful and great fun to sing together.

For me, there is no more beautiful or haunting song in any genre than "O Come O Come Emmanuel" - it gives me chills every time.

Many of the Spanish hymns in recent hymnals are set to folks tunes - I am thinking of particularly "Canto de Esperanza" and "Pues Si Vivimos"

We tend to sing a diversity of music - different congregations have different tolerance levels, musically. Probably if my congregation had its druthers, it would all be southern gospel. But that's another story...
You might also want to check out the work of John Bell and the "Wild Goose Worship Group" from the community on the Island of Iona. Their worship music is wonderfully written and often based on British, Scottish or Irish ballad tunes.
A link is here

Hope it helps,

Bo


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Subject: RE: congregational singing of folk songs
From: Blackcatter
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 12:02 AM

Cluin, our church does beer too. Not typically on Sunday morning, but last year, when we dedicated out new labyrinth (which I desinged for the church) I did the traditional blessing of pouring some alcohol on it. Since it was a labyrinth, I chose Ouzo owing to the early Greek connection with the labyrinth. Of course, I pour it sparingly on the labyrinth, but afterwards, in our coffeehour (on Sunday morn) I set out 3 bottles for people to have. Many people imbibed and all 3 bottles were finished (some even put it in their coffee, which I think is a waste of good ouzo. . .)


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Subject: RE: congregational singing of folk songs
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 09:42 AM

And the black church I go to was started by 25 ex-slaves, 115 years ago. You can imagine that in those days, their financial resources were very limited, and there would be very few places that would welcome a group of ex-slaves. They were fortunate to find a place where the rent was right, and the place wasn't being used on Sunday mornings, so they started their church in the back room of a tavern.
Being a black Baptist church, I doubt that they partook of the stock, though. Even in the afternoon, when the bar opened.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: congregational singing of folk songs
From: Blackcatter
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 11:52 PM

Depending on the location f the tavern, one whould have to wonder if they were allowed in the bar 115 years ago.


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Subject: RE: congregational singing of folk songs
From: Ceallaigh
Date: 26 Nov 03 - 01:38 AM

Hey, I'm new here, but if you all don't mind a few words from a newbie. :-)

"Simple Gifts" is an old Shaker song (also made very popular by Aaron Copland). The lyrics about turning and whatnot referred to the sort of dervish they did. O Come O Come Emmanuel is a 12th century French chant (originally sung in Latin) (one of my favourite songs also!).

I think half our hymns are based on folk songs/drinking songs and the other half are written buy guys like Bach and Wesley :-)

~Deborah


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Subject: RE: congregational singing of folk songs
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 26 Nov 03 - 06:00 AM

Martin Luther used many common folk tavern drinking songs for his hymns - he is alleged to have said
"Why should the Devil have all the good tunes?"


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Subject: RE: congregational singing of folk songs
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 26 Nov 03 - 07:55 AM

Blackcatter:

The tavern was in Stamford, Connecticut. At that time, the only places ex-slaves were probably allowed were in black-owned taverns.   It's hard to imagine a white tavern allowing blacks to start a church there.

It must have been a Juke Joint For Jesus. Gotta be a song there.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: congregational singing of folk songs
From: Burke
Date: 26 Nov 03 - 12:24 PM

Luther's connection to drinking songs is apparently a myth. No one who has ever done a search would attribute "Why should the Devil have all the good tunes?" to him. You can find the details in old threads.

Details on Lunther & drinking songs can be found HERE

Especially:
Richard C. Resch, "Music: Gift of God or Tool of the Devil," Logia 3 (Eastertide/April 1994) no. 2: 36, where he makes reference to Markus Jenny, Luthers geistliche Lieder und Kirchengesaenge (Koeln: Boehlau Verlag, 1985):
"Martin Luther is one of the most misunderstood church fathers with respect to the use of music in the church. Claims that he used tavern tunes for his hymns are used in defense of a music practice that freely accepts worldly associations. Such conclusions bear no resemblance to Luther's writings on the subjects of worship and music. In fact, Luther's actions teach us quite a different lesson. In his search for the right tune for his text "Vom Himmel hoch, da komm' ich her" ["From Heaven Above to Earth I Come"] , Luther learned about the power of worldly associations. According to the Luther scholar Markus Jenny, Luther's first wedding of this text with a tune was "a classic example of the failure of a contrafacta." He set it to a secular dance song that begins, "I step eagerly to this dance." The dance and tune were closely associated with a Christmas wreath ceremony that was often held in taverns. Luther found the secular associations to be so strong that he eventually wrote a fresh tune that was free of worldly associations. He then indicated on the manuscript that this new melody was to be used in the Sunday service and with children. Luther's modification of this beloved hymn is indication of his sensitivity to the harmful power of worldly associations in the worship practice of the church."


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Subject: RE: congregational singing of folk songs
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 26 Nov 03 - 05:46 PM

Interesting Burke,

apprently nobody ever told Australian Lutherans (especially the clergy!) that this was a myth when I was growing up in the 1950's & 60's. That's where I heard it.

But the alleged quote is a good one anyway, factual or not...

Robin


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Subject: RE: congregational singing of folk songs
From: Burke
Date: 26 Nov 03 - 06:08 PM

Robin,
I also heard the same story when I was growing up in the Lutheran Church. Before the days of the internet it was much harder both to reseach & spread the word on these kinds of myths.

"Why should the Devil have all the good tunes?" is an attribution I try to correct whenever I hear it. It is actually a sort of problematic statement anyway. It can justify using the devils tunes, or it could be a statement encouraging the writing of church music that has as much appeal.

I thought the attibution on the quote would be easier to find. Here it is:
"He did not see any reason why the devil should have all the good tunes." Sermons. From E. W. Broome, the Reverend Rowland Hill. Hill lived from 1744 to 1833.

This from Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, Fourteenth Edition, Copyright 1968.


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Subject: RE: congregational singing of folk songs
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Feb 12 - 07:09 PM

I am trying to locate a cd/tape of accompaniant music for the Heavenly Highways Hymnal, does anyone know of one or where I might purchase one? We don't have a pianist and I am not well versed in these older songs.


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