Shorter and Longer Songs

Penny Schultz from Williamsburg, leader of Spirit of the Hills Community Chorus,
calls them “pocket songs,” the short chants.   These are songs that you can have with you for comfort. Penny says -- you carry them around in your back pocket.

          We build a house of hope
          where you and I can enter.

                             We’re so strong. We’re so smart.
                             We were born with a loving heart.

In that quiet place where nothing can harm you,
the heart of the world.

                             Listen deep inside now.
                             You’ll find the kindest voice.

                                                                   Just take another step.

When I am leading a group workshop, a short song can gather people. It can provide a new thought, or create a closing.

So I want to note here the way longer songs can actually be used with a short version -- like those examples above which are just a portion of a longer song.

If you want to talk about seed saving, the chorus of Seed Savers can stand on its own.

Seed savers, light the future.
Keep the old seeds in our hand.
Seed savers, light the green flame.
Taking back the common land.

Some songs -- such as Earth, My Body and Marrow of My Bones (see Calling Us In) are presented in the recording with three verses but can be used with the first verse only. Others of the longer songs -- such as Hands Across the Hills and House of Hope -- can have just the chorus taken up and used.

Hands across the hills.
Hands across the hills.
Joining hearts and joining wills.
Hands across the hills.

This brings up the topic of the folk process. Always feel free to change the words to express what you need to say. For instance, what if you took the tune of that song and changed the words a bit:

Hands around the world.
Hands around the world.
Joining hearts, all voices heard.
Hands around the world.