Bright Morning Stars – An Appalachian Folk Tune

Bright Morning Stars – An Appalachian Folk Tune

Bright morning stars are rising
Bright morning stars are rising
Bright morning stars are rising
Day is a’breaking
In my soul
Oh where are our dear fathers?
Oh where are our dear fathers?
They are down in the valley a’praying
Day is a’breaking
In my soul
Oh where are our dear mothers? Oh where are our dear mothers?
They are gone to heaven a’shouting
Day is a’breaking In my soul
Bright morning stars are rising
Bright morning stars are rising
Bright morning stars are rising
Day is a’breaking
In my soul

The World We Want to See – Heather Houston

Another a song for these covid times… we are transforming before our own eyes… let’s stay awake, do the deep work, have the hard conversations, activate, dream, imagine, vision and create the world we want to live in.

Lyrics:
We are creating the world we wanna see
We are creating the world we wanna see
We are creating the world we wanna be
We’re calling ourselves to believe
We’re calling ourselves to be free

© Heather Houston 06/2020
all rights reserved

 

 

Keep Movin’ Forward My Darlin’ – Valerie Bynne

Keep Movin’ Forward My Darlin’ by Valerie Byrne

Written for Greta Thunberg, Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez and all of the women in the world who are moving forward with purpose and passion! Keep movin’ forward loves! We see you, we support you, we appreciate you!! Thank you for writing this powerful song Valerie! We love it!

Lyrics:

Keep movin’ forward my darlin’
Keep movin’ on my love
You know you are the beloved one
To answer to your calling

© Valerie Byrne
All rights reserved

Storm of Sound – Valerie Byrne

A beautiful layer song of empowerment. This one came through Valerie the day of the 2019 Women’s march. We like to get everyone marching to the beat together to feel even more deeply the solidarity of the community. Valerie is a long time member of my women’s choir Yala Lati and has been writing more and more songs for us to enjoy!

Part 1
A storm of sound, a growing thunder
What will change? I wonder?

Part 2
We are the voice of this age
Let your voice rage rage like thunder

Part 3
We are the one walking in truth
Let your voice rage like thunder

Storm of Sound

Right Here Now – Heather Houston

This song moved through me, for you, for all of us, on Easter Sunday 2020. What you are hearing is the song in raw form, unrehearsed, first time I ever sang it, recorded on my iPhone. I have no need or desire to perfect anything. May it be an invitation for you, as it was for me, to pause in the perfection of the present moment.

Lyrics

Right here now, in this present moment,
Right here now, I am singing
Right here now in this present moment,
Right here now, I am breathing

Pause with the exhale, let go surrender

All is well, I am held in the arms of Love
​​​​​​​All is well, I am held by the One

Right here now, this is holy ground
Right here now, this is sacred sound

© Heather Houston
04/2020
All rights reserved

 

Bird of Light — Heather Houston

I offer this chant as a powerful practice of presencing. In the dark, difficult, and uncertain times, one of the most powerful tools I’ve found is to chant mantra. Mantra, that which protects the mind, helps us to enter into a one-pointed concentration, thus quieting the looping stories and the fears.

Choose one part and stick to it throughout, and notice how you feel afterward. This is also a beautiful one to sing with a large group of people.

Hamsa so hum translates as “I Am That” in Sanskrit. In Vedic philosophy, it means identifying oneself with the universe or ultimate reality. The Soham mantra has been called the universal mantra because of the fact that its vibration is already a part of the breath, and everybody breathes. Sooooo… is the sound of inhalation, and Hummmm… is the sound of exhalation.

Hamsa means white swan. The swan, of course, is an ancient symbol of spiritual grace and purity. The mantra is called White Swan because when the in-breath and out-breath are freed and purified, they are like the wings of a swan helping our spirits to soar. The Hamsa mantra helps us find the grace within and carries us beyond our limited concepts.

Lyrics:

Hamsa so hum, hamsa so hum

I am that I am that I am, I am that I am that I am

So hum, so hum, so hum, so hum

I am this breath, I am this voice

I am a bird of light, I am a bird in flight

© November 2019
Heather Houston
All rights reserved

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

Re-Wild My Soul — Heather Houston

This beautiful chant poured through me one morning in a meditation on my sister’s land in northern Washington. 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:

Note: The order of the verses here is as recorded on my Sisters of the Moon album, the first SoundCloud track below. The practice tracks are an earlier version with a different order of verses and slightly different wording on the “Vast Sky” verse. Please use the most recent lyrics when you offer this song, thank you!

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 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 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 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