PROGRAM  

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TEXT & TRANSLATIONS

One Household High and Low

The dark around us, come,

Let us meet here together,

Members one of another,

Here in our holy room,

 

Here on our little floor,

Here in the daylit sky,

Rejoicing mind and eye,

Rejoining known and knower,

 

Light, leaf, foot, hand, and wing,

Such order as we know,

One household, high and low,

And all the earth shall sing.

--Wendell Berry

 

Bringing in the Sheaves

Though it's way past harvest time

Souls still toil and wagons rattle

Corn still stands in rank and line

And defies us all

We can see it in our past

Blood will out and join the battle

Though we work in different ways

We're bringing in the sheaves

 

Though we started from the land

Some do choose to roam abroad

The hand upon the gliding plough

Is not for everyone

Changing seasons help us see

That those who hear a different drummer

Though not in one harmony

Are bringing in the sheaves

 

What lay dormant in the soil

Is wakened by the kiss of summer

So the fruit of yesteryear

Becomes the year's new corn

Every stem has at its core

Part of those who went before

In turn they will be kept in store

By bringing in the sheaves

 

In conclusion bear in mind

What example has begun

What you do today in kind

Has power for everyone

True strong aims will pass along

To our daughters and our sons

So may they in years to come

Be bringing in the sheaves

--Jim Boyes

 

Sweetheart of the Sun

She stood breast high amid the corn

Clasped by the golden light of morn

Like the sweetheart of the sun

Who many a glowing kiss had won

 

On her cheek an autumn flush

Deeply ripened;—such a blush

In the midst of brown was born

Like red poppies grown with corn

 

Round her eyes her tresses fell

Which were blackest none could tell

But long lashes veiled a light

That had else been all too bright

 

And her hat, with shady brim

Made her tressy forehead dim;—

Thus she stood amid the stooks

Praising God with sweetest looks:—

 

Sure, I said, heaven did not mean

Where I reap thou shouldst but glean

Lay thy sheaf adown and come

Share my harvest and my home

–Thomas Hood

 

Los Pescadores

Walking on the beach is Vicente and his fishing net

Come here, come with me, come dance, dear friend

Very early my people go out to fish

They’ll bring back food for their home

Come to the beach, come along

We’ll move our feet (meaning we’ll dance)

(Translated from Spanish)

 

Sing About It

It's so sad. We don't understand each other yet.

How can this be when we've been living together so long?

So close to each other's beauty?

It's so sad. It makes me feel so bad.

I can't stand by anymore.

Gonna sing about it

 

Gonna sing it when I feel like cryin'.

When I'm uncomfortable & don't know why yet.

When I am guilty of the laissez-faire

– My ignorance of you laid bare

I'll talk to you before I raise my hand,

So you can call on me to make a stand.

 

Am I responsible? Are you responsible?

What are we responsible for?

 

I'm gonna look up from my own concerns

- Reach across the chasm of what I've never learned.

So wide, so full of burning–your eyes are turning to me now,

Saying 'It's time-it's way past time-to step outside the echo

Echo echo echo... chamber.'

Stop pretending it's alright,

Stop pretending this is not our fight.

Am I responsible? Are you responsible?

What are we responsible for?

 

Gonna sing about it.

--Moira Smiley

 

The Listening

Violence! Silence! Silence! Violence! Time!

Time has come for us to move on. 

We must move on.

There is a new spirit rising.

I turn my back when I hold my tongue  

I cannot be silent.

I cannot stand by and leave these words unsung.

I cannot be silent.

Trust and praise is reason to make better choices.

It’s our purpose to speak for the voiceless.

We must hear their broken cries.

It starts with listening. 

This is the re-creation of the listening… 

Interruption, oppression, suppression, exploitation, violence, control, hypocrisy… 

Somehow, this madness must stop.

To be on the right side of the revolution   

means it’s time we shift our view of peace so we can alter our evolution.

War is not the way.

Can we be tranquil and somewhat tame, 

rational while we stay sane? 

Solve the problem with a solution thereof.

That being unconditional love?

Love.

Not as a weak condition. 

But as the key for the ignition of peace.

The time is now.

There is a new spirit rising.

We must act in the face of risk.

We must choose to transform, 

and we need to be brisk.

I cannot be silent. I will not be silent.

It is time to close the gap,

and stop the distancing, stop inhibiting,

stop what we are witnessing.

It’s time to break the silence with the listening.

–Cheryl B. Engelhardt

 

The Sound of Silence

Hello darkness, my old friend

I've come to talk with you again

Because a vision softly creeping

Left its seeds while I was sleeping

And the vision that was planted in my brain

Still remains

Within the sound of silence

 

In restless dreams I walked alone

Narrow streets of cobblestone

'Neath the halo of a street lamp

I turned my collar to the cold and damp

When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light

That split the night

And touched the sound of silence

 

And in the naked light I saw

Ten thousand people, maybe more

People talking without speaking

People hearing without listening

People writing songs that voices never share

No one dared

Disturb the sound of silence

 

"Fools" said I, "You do not know

Silence like a cancer grows

Hear my words that I might teach you

Take my arms that I might reach you"

But my words like silent raindrops fell

And echoed in the wells of silence

 

And the people bowed and prayed

To the neon god they made

And the sign flashed out its warning

In the words that it was forming

 

And the sign said, "The words of the prophets

Are written on the subway walls

And tenement halls

And whispered in the sounds of silence"

–Paul Simon

 

Ella’s Song

We who believe in freedom cannot rest

We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes

 

Until the killing of black men, black mothers' sons

Is as important as the killing of white men, white mothers' sons

 

That which touches me most is that I had a chance to work with people

Passing on to others that which was passed on to me

 

To me young people come first, they have the courage where we fail

And if I can but shed some light as they carry us through the gale

 

The older I get the better I know that the secret of my going on

Is when the reins are in the hands of the young, who dare to run against the storm

 

Not needing to clutch for power, not needing the light just to shine on me

I need to be one in the number as we stand against tyranny

 

Struggling myself don't mean a whole lot, I've come to realize

That teaching others to stand up and fight is the only way my struggle survives

 

I'm a woman who speaks in a voice and I must be heard

At times I can be quite difficult, I'll bow to no man's word

 

We who believe in freedom cannot rest

We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes

–Bernice Johnson Reagon, using quotes by Ella Baker

 

Her beacon-hand beckons

Her beacon-hand beckons: give

give to me

those yearning to breathe free 

tempest-tossed they cannot see 

what lies beyond the olive tree 

whose branch was lost amid the pleas 

for mercy, mercy

give

give to me

your tired fighters fleeing fighting from the

from the

from

let them

i will be your refuge

i will be your refuge

i will be

i will be

we will be

we will

–text by Caroline Shaw, responding to the 1883 sonnet “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus

 

The New Colossus

Give me your tired, your poor

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me

I lift my lamp beside the golden door

–Emma Lazarus


 

The Sun Never Says

Even

After

All this time

The sun never says to the earth,

“You owe

Me.”

Look

What happens

With a love like that,

It lights the

Whole

Sky.

–Daniel Landinsky

 

Famine Song

Ease my spirit, ease my soul,

please free my hands from the barren soil.

Ease my mother, ease my child,

earth and sky be reconciled.

 

Ease my spirit, ease my soul,

please free my hands from the barren soil.

Ease my mother, ease my child,

earth and sky be reconciled.

 

Rain, rain, rain.

Rain, rain, rain.

 

Weave my mother, weave my child,

Weave your baskets of rushes wild.

Weave my mother, weave my child.

Weave your baskets of rushes wild.

 

Ooh.

 

Out of heat, under sun comes the hunger to everyone.

Famine’s teeth, famine’s claw on the sands of Africa.

 

Rain, rain, rain.

Rain, rain, rain.

 

Weave my mother, weave my child,

Weave your baskets of rushes wild.

Weave my mother, weave my child.

Weave your baskets of rushes wild.

 

Rain, rain, rain.

Rain, rain, rain.

–VIDA

 

Earth Song

Sing, Be, Live, See.

This dark stormy hour,

The wind, it stirs.

The scorched earth

Cries out in vain:

O war and power,

You blind and blur,

The torn heart

Cries out in pain.

But music and singing

Have been my refuge,

And music and singing

Shall be my light.

A lightof song

Shining Strong: Allelulia!

Through darkness, pain, and strife, I'll

Sing, Be, Live, See...

Peace.

–Frank Tichelli

 

More Waters Rising

There are more waters rising,

    This I know, this I know.

There are more waters rising,

    This I know.

There are more waters rising,

    They will find their way to me.

There are more waters rising,

    This I know, this I know.

There are more waters rising,

    This I know.

 

There are more fires burning,

    This I know...

 

There are more mountains falling,

    This I know...

 

I will wade through the waters,

    This I know, this I know.

I will wade through the waters,

    This I know.

I will wade through the waters,

    When they find their way to me.

I will wade through the waters,

    This I know, this I know.

I will wade through the waters,

    This I know.

 

I will walk through the fires

    This I know...

 

I will rebuild the mountains

    This I know...

–Saro Lynch-Thomason


 

Lao Rahal Soti 

If my voice departs, your throats (i.e. voices) will not

I look unto tomorrow and my heart is with you

If the singer goes (dies), the songs will remain

Bringing together the broken and suffering hearts

–Samih Choukeir (translated from Arabic)

 

My Heart be Brave

My heart be brave, and do not falter so,   

Nor utter more that deep, despairing wail.   

Thy way is very dark and drear I know,   

But do not let thy strength and courage fail;   

For certain as the raven-winged night

Is followed by the bright and blushing morn,   

Thy coming morrow will be clear and bright;   

’Tis darkest when the night is furthest worn.   

Look up, and out, beyond, surrounding clouds,   

And do not in thine own gross darkness grope,   

Rise up, and casting off thy hind’ring shrouds,   

Cling thou to this, and ever inspiring hope:

   Tho’ thick the battle and tho’ fierce the fight,

   There is a power [in] making for the right.

—Text from “Sonnet” by James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938)  

 

When I Rise Up

When I rise up

let me rise up joyful

like a bird.

 

When I fall

let me fall without regret

like a leaf.

–Wendell Berry

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