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Notes on the Notes – November 11, 2012 – Remembrance Day

“Magic Penny”This song, sung by the children of the Sunday School, draws us into worship by reminding us that “Love is something if you give it away…you end up having more.”  The song was written and sung by folk singer and political activitst Malvina Reynolds.  Malvina Reynolds (August 23, 1900 – March 17, 1978) is best known for her song-writing, particularly the songs “Little Boxes” and “Morningtown Ride“.To hear Malvina Reynolds sing “Magic Penny” go to:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FB5Z_30xSe8

“Never Again” –  “Never Again” was written and produced especially for The War Amps Military Heritage Series by Robin Moir and Joseph Turner, two Canadian musicians who have an outstanding reputation in the music field. The song’s haunting lyrics and beautiful melody have earned it several international awards.   To watch the War Amps video of this song go to:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcdJVAUyvzc

“When Quiet Peace is Shattered” (VU 615) – The text for this hymn is by Mary Nelson Keithahn and the music is by her colleague, John Horman.  They are both from South Dakota.  The hymn is a plea for God, in times of conflict,  to “break the silence of your word and let your healing voice be heard.”

“Lord, Prepare Me” (MV 18) – The 1970s and 1980s featured a revolution in the style of music that was used within the Church. Prior to this time, hymns were the norm and new songs were seldom added to a church service. As the free spirits of the sixties became members of churches, there was a desire to worship with music that was familiar to them. Much of this music took on the form of simple, repeated choruses that were high in emotional content. The musical style took folk music and toned it down in a way that was conducive to group singing. Among the most popular songs from this time period is “Sanctuary,” which was written by John W. Thompson and Randy Scruggs. The latter is a Grammy Award winner and two time winner of the Musician of the Year Award at the Country Music Association Awards. Despite this great fame in secular circles, one his greatest achievements was a simple song that continues to be sung to this day. The lyrics of “Sanctuary” are a simple request for God to purify oneself. In addition to calling on God, it is implied that one must take some step to be purified. The end result is that a person will be a living sanctuary for God. This powerful song has impacted people for nearly thirty years, and it is sure to continue on this path for years to come.  To listen to this song go to:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LiTy7ndOzw

“Imagine” In this song, John Lennon was asking us to imagine a place where things that divide people (religion, possessions, etc.) did not exist. He felt that would be a much better place.  This song is a strong political message that is sugarcoated in a beautiful melody.  Lennon realized that the softer approach would bring the song to a wider audience, who hopefully would listen to his message.  Watch the John Lennon video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRhq-yO1KN8.

“I am a Child of God” (MV 157) –Written by the duo Bruce and Cheryl Harding, this song covers the diversity found in the appearance and emotion of the child of God.  Cheryl and Bruce Harding, musicians from the Vancouver area, are known for an eclectic musical style that melds a liberal theology of healing and understanding with an evangelical, spirit-filled passion for congregational singing. Through their music and ministry with congregations and church gatherings across Canada and beyond they inspire people to sing with spirit and conviction.  Bruce was the Managing Editor for More Voices, the supplement to the current United Church of Canada hymn book, Voices United (1996).  To hear Bruce speaking about More Voices and the music it contains click:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WM0s-P6hcrI&feature=player_embedded

“Prayer of the Children”  – This song was written by Emmy-award winning composer Kurt Bestor.  The lyrics “Dali cujete sve djecje molitive?” are Croatian for ‘Can you hear all the children’s prayers?’  To learn more about the story behind the song go to:  http://kbestor.blogspot.ca/2005/09/prayer-of-children-story-behind-song.html   To watch a moving video using the song go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTZFIcqnQMg

“One Voice”This song was written by Ruth Moody of The Wailin’ Jennys. The Wailin Jennys are Nicky Mehta, Ruth Moody and Heather Masse – three distinct voices that together make an achingly perfect vocal sound. Starting as a happy accident of solo singer-songwriters getting together for a one-time-only performance at a tiny guitar shop in Winnipeg, Manitoba, The Wailin’ Jennys have grown over the years into one of today’s most beloved international folk acts.  Ruth was a finalist in the USA Songwriting Competition and was recognized by the International Songwriting Competition for her song “One Voice,” which has gone on to be a signature song for The Wailin’ Jennys. It has been covered by countless artists and has been performed in concert halls, churches and schools throughout the world.

To see The Wailin’ Jennys perform this song click:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mm3JY5qmQs

Categories: Notes on the Notes