Musical Musings: September 5 – 12, 2021

Music Notes – Sunday, September 5th:

This Sunday’s musicians are Amy Collins and UUCC Pianist Karin Tooley

Opening Hymn: #311 Let It Be a Dance

“Let It Be a Dance” (#311 in our Singing the Living Tradition hymnal) was originally written and performed by Ric Masten (1929-2008), a California-based Unitarian Universalist folk singer, songwriter, poet, storyteller, and author. Masten’s song has a natural motion and momentum, and I encourage all of you to let your body move and bend and (of course) dance while you sing along with this song on Sunday morning.

Centering Music: The Long and Winding Road – McCartney

Appropriately enough, “The Long and Winding Road” was the last of the twenty songs that became number 1 hits for The Beatles in the United States. Although John Lennon received album credit as a co-writer of the song, it was written entirely by Paul McCartney, who composed “The Long and Winding Road” as a reflection on the musical journey he had taken with the other members of The Beatles, whose breakup felt inevitable to McCartney at the time. The song was recorded for Let It Be, the Beatles’ final studio album, and was released as a single in May of 1970, a month after the band publicly announced their breakup. The lush orchestration and choir heard on the final version of the song were both added by producer Phil Spector without McCartney’s knowledge or consent, and McCartney tried unsuccessfully to prevent Spector’s arrangement from making it to the album and has since released his own stripped-down version of the song. 

Meditation Response: From You I Receive – Segal and Segal

Most UUs are familiar with this short and simple round, which is #402 in Singing the Living Tradition and is used by many UU congregations as their weekly offertory response. What many UUs do not know is that the song was written and performed by two brothers, Joseph and Nathan Segal, who describe themselves as “12th generation singing rabbis”. The Segal brothers had a successful career as both spiritual leaders and entertainers, blending music, humor, and life lessons in their appearances.

Offertory music: Midnight Rider –Allman and Payne 

“Midnight Rider” is a 1970 song released by the Allman Brothers Band on their second studio album, Idlewild South. The music was written by the Allman Brothers’ lead vocalist Gregg Allman (1947-2017), and the lyrics were co-written by Allman along with Robert Kim Payne, who was a roadie for the Allman Brothers Band at the time. The original Allman Brothers version of “Midnight Rider” did not chart, but it has become one of the group’s most beloved songs, and several successful cover versions have been recorded, including a 1973 solo version by Gregg Allman which became a top 20 hit in the U.S. It has also been sung and recorded by Paul Davidson, Willie Nelson, UB40, and Patti Smith, among many others.

Closing Hymn: 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).

Postlude: Everyday Is a Winding Road – Crow, MacLeod, and Trott

“Everyday Is a Winding Road” is a song co-written and recorded by American singer, actress, and songwriter Sheryl Crow (b. 1962). The song was the second single released from Crow’s second studio album, Sheryl Crow. Crow wrote the “Everyday Is a Winding Road” in 1996 along with drummer Brian MacLeod and producer Jeff Trott, and the song became a top 20 hit in both the U.S. and U.K. and earned a nomination for the Grammy Award for Record of the Year.                                                                   

-Mike Carney, UUCC Music Director