Wade in the Water Medley – Traditional Spirituals

Traditional Spirituals

I learned this medley from Ysaye Barnwell at a music educators conference way back in 1999. A favorite amongst my elementary school choirs as well as my adult choirs and circles.

Wade In the Water was an Underground Railroad song, sung as a guide to assist the those moving towards freedom to know where the safe river crossings were, or to get into the water so the dogs would lose the scent. Also referencing the Bible from Exedos. “An angel troubled the water”. A call to get in the water to become whole and healed again.

Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child – a song of grief for those separated from their families and their homeland.

I Wanna Die Easy When I Die – the enslaved people’s way of claiming that they WILL make it to freedom, and they will not die until they do – Such strength and conviction of spirit!

When I sing these songs with my groups, I also like to presence that we are still on a journey of reparations, justice and equality with people of color who are descendants of the enslaved. There are still deep wounds that need to be healed. I like to have the circle speak their prayers, or I like to set an intention that as we sing these songs, we are creating a ripple of love and healing for those still on the journey, and for our nation as a whole.

Lyrics:

Wade In The Water

Wade in the water
Wade in the water children
Wade in the water
God’s gonna trouble the water

Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
A long way from home

I Wanna Die Easy

I wanna die easy when I die
I wanna die easy when I die
I wanna die easy when I die
Shout salvation when I rise
I want to die easy when I die

These songs are in the public domain

Hope Lingers On – Low Lily

By Low Lily (Lissa Schneckenburger)

A beam of hope in these trying times! The miracle cure… choosing love over hate and fear.

Lyrics:

My mother, when love is gone
My mother, when love is gone, in our darkest hour, hope lingers on
My father, when peace is gone
My father, when peace is gone, in our darkest hour, hope lingers on
I will not hate and I will not fear, in our darkest hour, hope lingers here
My sister, when equality’s gone
My sister, when equality’s gone, in our darkest hour, hope lingers on
My brother, with tolerance gone
My brother, with tolerance gone, in our darkest hour, hope lingers on
I will not hate and I will not fear, in our darkest hour, hope lingers here
My love, when honor is gone
My love, when honor is gone, in our darkest hour, hope lingers on
My country, when justice is gone
My country, when justice is gone, in our darkest hour, hope lingers on
I will not and I will fear, in our darkest hour, hope lingers here
I will not and I will fear, in our darkest hour, hope lingers here

Used with permission

© Lissa Schneckenburger
All rights reserved

Divine Mystery by Heather Houston

This one flowed through for a room full of women entrepreneurs. It’s been a favorite for many ever since. A beautiful layer song.

Lyrics:

Oh I am opening up for a dance with Divine Mystery
Oh I am trusting the path that’s unfolding before me with ease

Just let go now, trust the flow,
Just let go now, then you’ll know.

Right on time now, I’ve arrived
Right on time now, I’m aligned.

© Heather Houston
All rights reserved

Glory Glory Hallelujah – Traditional Spiritual

We love singing this one in the fall… letting go of our burdens. Rather than teach harmony parts on this one, I let it be a free for all… a place where women can experiment with harmony and improvised singing.

Lyrics:

Glory glory hallelujah
Since I laid my burdens down
Glory glory hallelujah
Since I laid my burdens down

This song is in the public domain

Re-Wild My Soul – Heather Houston

This beautiful chant poured through me one morning in a meditation on my sister’s land in Northern WA. With Mt. Baker above me, Canyon Creek below me, sunshine, wind, eagles, vast sky and forest all around me, I went into a deep state of communion with the land and allowed this song to move through. It doesn’t make grammatical sense entirely, but it’s easier to teach this way. Enjoy!

Lyrics:

Oh river, re-wild my soul Help me let go of control Show my heart how to flow with ease again I am ready, take me in.

Oh mountain, re-wild my soul Help me let go of control Show my heart how to lift mine eyes again I am ready, take me in.

Oh eagle, re-wild my soul Help me let go of control Show my heart how to fly so free again I am ready, take me in.

Oh vast sky, re-wild my soul Help me let go of control Show my heart how to be spaciousness again I am ready, take me in.

Oh soft wind, re-wild my soul Help me let go of control Show my heart how to be clear and cleansed again I am ready, take me in.

Oh sunshine, re-wild my soul Help me let go of control Show my heart how to shine with warmth again I am ready, take me in.

Oh forest, re-wild my soul Help me let go of control Show my heart how to trust this path again I am ready, take me in.

Oh mama, re-wild my soul Help me let go of control Show my heart how to beat with yours again I am ready, take me in.

©Heather Houston
All rights reserved

I’m Going Back – Heather Houston

A great rhythmic entrainment song. I love to get my singers moving their feet together on this one, and then eventually invite them to play the heart beat on their chest. This one flowed through one morning in thinking about recording my “Sisters of the Moon” album. It didn’t make it on the album, but it sure is fun to sing in circle. Enjoy!

© Heather Houston 2019
All rights reserved

Lyrics:

I’m going back
to the earth
I’m going back
to be re-birthed
into the cycles of the moon
where I feel the rhythm of our unified
heart, beat
I’m going back

Show Me the Way – Heather Houston

This is a song about claiming our readiness for forward movement in our lives. It came through in a time when I was feeling stagnant and ready for a big shift. So I offered up my hands, my heart, my mind, my voice and asked Love to show me the way. And it did. Prayer is a powerful thing. We just need to find the courage to ask.

© 2018 Heather Houston
All rights reserved
www.heatherhoustonmusic.com

Lyrics:

Part 1:
I am opnin to the fire that’s sparking the desire in my heart. Yeah!

Part 2:
I will lay my burdens down, get out the way, seize the day!

Part 3:
I will offer up these hands, yeah!
I will offer up this heart, yeah!
I will offer up this mind, yeah!
I will offer up this voice, yeah!

Part 4:
Show me the way! Yeah!

 


 

The Earth Delights – Heather Houston

Original Poetry by Khalil Gibran

A beautiful reminder of the intimate dance we do with the more than human world. This has been a favorite quote of mine for over 20 years, and I woke up one morning this Spring with this sweet little melody moving through. I love the syncopation of the harmonies. It’s so fun to play with the rhythm on this one. A fun challenge for my circles of singing women, and yours!

© 2019 Heather Houston
All rights reserved

Lyrics:

The earth delights to feel your bare feet
And the wind longs to play with your hair

Wave of Women – Heather Houston

A powerful song inspired by the 2019 Women’s march. The theme was “A Wave of Women.” After the experience of singing to a sea of women and supporters of women on that day at our local Santa Cruz march, this song flowed through that very afternoon.

© 2019 Heather Houston
All rights reserved

www.heatherhoustonmusic.com

Lyrics:

We are a wave of women moving across the land
We are a wave of women rising to take a stand
for our brothers and sisters,
our daughters and sons,
for the Earth and her creatures,
we’re all chosen ones.

Earth My Body – Source Unknown

I’ve known and sung this beautiful chant in women’s circles for many years. It’s an invitation to feel one with the Earth, a reminder of our sacred connection to and responsibility for the more than human world. The composer is unknown, and the song is in the public domain.

Arrangement by Heather Houston

Lyrics:

Earth my body,
Water my blood,
Air my breath
and fire my spirit