Musical Musings: October 10 – 16, 2021

Music Notes – Sunday, October 10th:  

This Sunday’s musicians are Crystal Carlson, UUCC Music Director Mike Carney, and members of the UUCC Chancel Choir. 

Opening Hymn: # 1007 There’s a River Flowin’ in my Soul – Sanders

“There’s a River Flowin’ in My Soul” is #1007 in our Singing the Journey hymnal. It was composed by Rose Sanders (b. 1945), who is a civil rights attorney, activist and creative artist living in Selma, Alabama. Ms. Sanders was Alabama’s first African American female judge, and she has co-founded and works to support many organizations which protect children.

Centering Music: Intense Introspection – Harle 

John Harle (b. 1956) is an award-winning composer, saxophonist, record producer and educator whose work spans across musical genres from classical to contemporary pop. John is the composer of operas, around fifty concert works and over 100 film and TV scores including the theme to BBC1’s Silent Witness and the epic score to Simon Schama’s A History of Britain. He is the recipient of an Ivor Novello award and two Royal Television Society awards for Best Music. (from “Intense Introspection” is the opening movement of Harle’s 2006 piano cycle Three Secrets from the Abyss

Sung Meditation: #1053 How Could Anyone – Roderick 

A song by Alaskan singer/songwriter, poet and activist Libby Roderick (b, 1958), “How Could Anyone” (Singing the Journey #1053) was composed in response to a friend in pain. It has been heard around the world, translated into many languages, and is reprinted in many books. The simple folk tune and words have been embraced by people with many types of pain, from AIDS orphans to cancer survivors and prisoners. The lyrics have been used for healing in many different settings that include churches, hospitals, shelters, rallies, weddings, and funerals. (from  

Offertory music: God Bless the Child – Herzog and Holiday

“God Bless the Child” was written in 1939 by jazz legend Billie Holiday (1915-1959) and songwriter Arthur Herzog, Jr. (1900-1983) The song and its signature lyric of “God bless the child that’s got his own” was inspired by an argument Billie Holiday had with her mother over money. Today, “God Bless the Child” is acknowledged as one of the all-time great jazz standards. It was honored in 1976 with a Grammy Hall of Fame Award and was chosen as one of the 365 “Songs of the 20th Century” by the Recording Industry Association of America along with the National Endowment for the Arts. Dozens of artists have recorded covers of “God Bless the Child”, including Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Sonny Rollins, and Blood, Sweat & Tears.

Special Music: There Will Come Soft Rains – Partain/Teasdale

“There Will Come Soft Rains” is a 2006 composition by UUCC’s own Rev. Randolph Partain. It is part of Chasms, a song cycle composed for soprano Marion Russell Dickson. As Guest Artist with Distinguished Concerts International, New York, Dickson performed the songs in recital at Carnegie Hall in 2009. The nine songs in the cycle are settings of poems by Sara Teasdale, although many know this particular poem because of its use in a short story by Ray Bradbury.

Closing Hymn: Everything Possible – Small

Singer-songwriter, lawyer, activist, and UU minister Fred Small (b. 1952) was born in Plainfield, New Jersey and currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He started out as a lawyer working for the Conservation Law Foundation, but soon answered another calling and became a full-time folk singer and songwriter. Some of Small’s best-known songs are “Heart of the Appaloosa”, “Cranes Over Hiroshima”, and “Everything Possible”, which was first released in 1985 on his album No Limit. “Everything Possible” was also used for the finale of the AIDS benefit musical Heart Strings in 1992 and is #1019 in our Singing the Journeyhymnbook.

Postlude: This Is Me – Pasek and Paul 

 “This Is Me” is a song from the 2017 film musical The Greatest Showman. The music and lyrics were co-written by Benj Pasek (b. 1985) and Justin Paul (b. 1985), a songwriting team known primarily for their work in film and theater, including the scores for Dear Evan Hansen and A Christmas Story (stage musical), and original songs from La La Land.  “This Is Me” won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and was nominated for an Academy Award in the same category.  

                                                                                    -Mike Carney, UUCC Music Director