Musical Musings: January 7-13, 2021

Hello members and friends of UUCC, 

I hope you are doing well and staying safe in these uncertain times. Our online service this week will feature some of my favorites – I hope they are yours, too! See below for this week’s Music Notes…

Music Notes – Sunday, January 10th:  

Music 1: There Is More Love Somewhere – African American Spiritual 

#95 in Singing the Living Tradition, “There Is More Love Somewhere” is an African American spiritual, possibly originating from the Georgia Sea Islands. As many spirituals do, this song expresses a hope for a better world on the horizon. However, in contrast to some other songs from the spiritual tradition, “There Is More Love Somewhere” makes no mention of actually reaching the figurative promised land. Instead, the lyrics (“I’m gonna keep on `til I find it”) express a sense of hope, but only through the lens of determination. As you sing along with UUCC’s Women’s Ensemble on Sunday, don’t forget that if the arc of the moral universe is to bend toward justice, it will take many determined souls pulling hard to make that happen.

Music 2: We Are a Gentle, Angry People – Near 

Holly Near (b. 1949) is a performer, songwriter, and activist who for decades has inspired thousands to thought and action. She is considered to be among the founders of the Women’s Music movement and is a fierce advocate for LGBTQ and environmental justice as well. Ms. Near has received honors from the ACLU, the National Lawyers Guild, the National Organization for Women, and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences; she was named Ms. Magazine’s Woman of the Year and received the Legends of Women’s Music Award. One of Holly’s best-known and best-loved songs is “Singing for Our Lives”, which was written after she heard news of the assassination of city supervisor and gay rights activist Harvey Milk. The song appears in our Singing the Living Tradition hymnal as “We Are a Gentle, Angry People” (#170). Holly’s song was arranged for choir by UUCC’s Music Director Mike Carney and will be led by our Chancel Choir in this week’s service, with Mike at the piano and Pam Schenk as a featured soloist. (includes material from

Music 3/Offertory: Improvisation in C Sharp – Karin Tooley 

Our offertory music this Sunday is a bright and energetic improvisation from UUCC Pianist Karin Tooley. Karin’s improvisation, primarily within the key of C sharp major, flows in and out of several musical ideas but never loses its sense of relentless motion. 

Closing Hymn/Postlude: Come and Go With Me – African American Spiritual 

“Come and Go with Me” (also known as “Go with Me to that Land”) originated as an African American spiritual. The song features call-and-response singing and lyrics expressing the hope of a better world to come, and has been recorded by many artists, including Bernice Johnson Reagon, Blind Willie Johnson, and Peter, Paul and Mary. “Come and Go with Me” is also #1018 in our Singing the Journey hymnbook, arranged by Kenny Smith (b. 1965). This Sunday, “Come and Go with Me” will be led by our Chancel Choir along with Aaron Burkle on drums and Mike Carney on piano. 

-Mike Carney, UUCC Music Director