Musical Musings: January 16 – 22, 2022

Music Notes – Sunday, January 16th:  
This Sunday’s musicians are Leon Michaud, Pamela Schenk, and UUCC Pianist Karin Tooley

Opening Hymn: #188 Come, Come, Whoever You Are – Ungar/Rumi

#188 in our Singing the Living Tradition hymnal, “Come, Come, Whoever You Are” has been a favorite gathering song for many years in thousands of UU worship services and events. The words, welcoming all without condition or exclusion, are from the renowned 13th century poet and mystic Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207-1273). The overlapping round melody was written by poet, musician and UU minister Rev. Dr. Lynn Ungar (b. 1963), who currently serves as minister for lifespan learning and editor of Quest for the Church of the Larger Fellowship.
Centering Music: You Are Not Alone – Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim (1930-2020) was one of the most important and distinctive compositional voices in the history of American Musical Theatre. Sondheim earned numerous awards and accolades over his long and remarkable career, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a Pulitzer Prize, eight Grammy Awards, eight Tony Awards, and an Academy Award. Some of his most notable contributions include West Side Story (lyrics), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Sweeney Todd, and Into the Woods, a 1986 musical adaptation and re-imagining of stories and characters from familiar fairy tales, including “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, “Rapunzel”, and “Cinderella”. Into the Woods won three Tony Awards and enjoyed several long-running productions as well as a critically acclaimed 2014 film adaptation. “No One Is Alone” is one of the best-known songs from Into the Woods.
Sung Meditation: #317 We Are Not Our Own – Wren/Hurd
#317 in Singing the Living Tradition, “We Are Not Our Own” is one of the hidden gems of our UU Hymnal. The words come from British poet, theologist and prolific hymn writer Brian Wren, who is the author of several other hymns in Singing the Living Tradition, including “Name Unnamed”, “Joyful Is the Dark”, and “Love Makes a Bridge”. The arching, hopeful tune for “We Are Not Our Own” was written by Dr. David Hurd, a composer, organist, and educator who currently serves as the Director of Music at the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin in Times Square, New York City.
Offertory music: You’ve Got a Friend – King   
Carole King (b. 1942) is one of the most influential and celebrated songwriters in the history of American Popular Music. Since her career began in the 1950s, she has written or co-written no less than 118 songs that have charted in the Billboard Hot 100, has won eight Grammy Awards, been inducted into both the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2013 became the first woman honored as a recipient of The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. King wrote “You’ve Got a Friend” for her signature 1971 album Tapestry. The song was also recorded by James Taylor (b. 1948), whose cover version became a #1 hit in the U.S. Interestingly, both artists recorded their versions of “You’ve Got a Friend” in the same studio session with the same backing musicians, and both earned a 1972 Grammy Award for their respective versions of the song: Taylor for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and King for Song of the Year.
Closing Hymn: #1014 Answering the Call of Love – Shelton
Jason Shelton is an award-winning composer, arranger, conductor, song and worship leader, workshop presenter, and coach. He served as the Associate Minister for Music at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville, Tennessee from 1998-2017, and is now engaged in a music ministry at-large, focused on serving the musical resource needs of UU (and other liberal) congregations around the country (from “Answering the Call of Love” (#1014) is one of many contributions Rev. Shelton has made to our Singing the Journey hymnbook.
Postlude: You’ve Got a Friend in Me – Newman   
“You’ve Got a Friend in Me” is a 1995 song by American singer-songwriter Randy Newman (b. 1943). The song, originally performed as a duet by Newman with Lyle Lovett, is best known as the theme for the Disney/Pixar Toy Story films. “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” was nominated for the 1995 Academy Award for Best Original Song and has been certified platinum with over 1 million units sold.

                                                                                                                                    -Mike Carney, UUCC Music Director