Musical Happenings June 2021

Hello UUCC members and friends,

I’d like to start my article this month by quoting American author and poet Samuel Longfellow: 

The sweet June days are come again; once more the glad earth yields

Its golden wealth of ripening grain, and breath of clover fields,

And deepening shade of summer woods, and glow of summer air,

And winging thoughts and happy moods of love and joy and prayer.

The sweet June days are come again; the birds are on the wing;

Bright anthems, in their merry strain, unconsciously they sing.

Oh, how our cup o’er brims with good these happy summer days;

For all the joys of field and wood we lift our song of praise.

Longfellow’s legacy is often overshadowed by that of his famous older brother Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. But Samuel’s life and output are more than worthy on their own merits. In addition to his work as an author and poet, Longfellow was also a Unitarian minister and one of the leading voices of the transcendentalist movement. Today, Samuel Longfellow is best remembered as a hymn writer, and I suspect some of you recognized his words quoted above as hymn #65 in Singing the Living Tradition, “The Sweet June Days”. Because it is specific to this time of year, we don’t sing this hymn often enough to make it a familiar favorite for many UUs, but it is one of my favorites, and I invite you to join me in lifting up “thoughts of happy moods of love and prayer” as we revel in the natural beauty of spring and summer this month.

Thanks to everyone who supported and attended the drive-in concert on May 30th with the Moises Borges Band and the Mo’ Mojo Band! It was a joy to celebrate that event with you and to sing and dance along to some great music – here’s hoping we’ll have many more opportunities to enjoy live music together this year! I’m also very grateful for everyone who made music for our virtual services throughout May, including UUCC Pianist Karin Tooley, our Chancel Choir and Women’s Ensemble, percussionist Aaron Burkle, clarinetist Steve Sanford, and the talented students from the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society’s Education Program. You’ll have the chance to enjoy music from our talented staff and volunteers in a different way now that we’re returning to in-person services – I hope you are looking forward to it as much as I am!

I hope you all have a healthy and happy June and I look forward to seeing you soon!

In peace,


Michael Carney

Music Director, UU Congregation of Cleveland