In 1993, I became the guitarist for The Amity Singers, a contemporary Christian vocal group at First Parish Church Congregational in Dover, New Hampshire.
After I’d been with the group for a few months, I presented them with an arrangement I’d done of one of my songs “There Are (Songs To Be Sung).” It soon became one of the group’s favorite performance pieces and I invited them to join me on the choruses when I recorded “There Are (Songs To Be Sung)” for my 1995 CD of the same name.
(You can find a link to that recording in my August 14, 2010 post called “Many Thanks, Again.”)
In the Fall of 1994, I tried writing a new song specifically for The Amity Singers. “Sing to the Lord” however, quickly became “Sing To The World.” Any song I was going to write had to be inclusive. But, according to my songwriting journal from that time, my good intentions soon got distracted by other ideas and I didn’t really devote myself to finishing the song until the Fall of 1995. Finally, with inspiration from a variety of sources that included Rev. David Slater (First Parish Church’s minister back then), Lech Walesa, Sir Isaac Watts and Woody Guthrie, and after seven pages of drafts, edits and minuscule refinements I finished the four verses of this decidedly hymn-like song on April 2, 1996.
I never did write a four-part, choral arrangement of “Sing To The World,” so The Amity Singers – disbanded for quite some time now – never sang the song. It did become a satisfying, set-opening staple of my solo performance repertoire for many years after. A few days ago, “Sing To The World” again served in that role for this year’s edition of the annual holiday-themed concert that I give at the school where I teach.
The song starts:
“Sing to the world a new song, sing with a joyful heart,
Sing to the world a song that welcomes all with open arms,
Sing to the world with countless voices joined in harmony,
Sing to the world a new song that all the world can sing.”
Here is a brand new, home-studio recording of “Sing To The World” for your holiday (or any day) listening pleasure.
This Christmas and throughout the New Year to come, may a song of peace indeed ring, loud and long through every land.