Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Carolyn McDade's “Spirit of Life” — both verses

Almost a year and a half ago, in my Winter Solstice article, I wrote about a recording I made of me singing Carolyn McDade's “Spirit of Life”. In order to have piano accompaniment, I found the music for this well-known UUC hymn and I was surprised to discover that it has two verses. When we sing it "every Sunday" in our Unitarian Universalist Church (in Groton), there is only ever one verse. But just having seen that there are two verses… ever since then I've wanted to reRecord the song in its full form. So finally, on this fabulous New England Spring day — with the sounds of the birds chirping and the bees buzzing in the blossoms of the weeping cherry tree in our yard — I was inspired to sing the whole song.
                          “ Spirit of Life ”

Spirit of Life, come unto me.
Sing in my heart all the stirrings of compassion.
Blow in the wind, rise in the sea;
move in the hand, giving life the shape of justice.
Roots hold me close; wings set me free;
Spirit of Life, come to me, come to me.
                                              — Carolyn McDade

Spirit of Love, come unto me.
Deep in my soul all the mystery of creation.
Teach me to care, Peace let there be.
Lead me to truth showing forth the paths of wisdom.
Roots hold me close; wings set me free;
Spirit of Love, come to me, come to me.
None of the on-line references to this song that I could find mentions that it has a 2nd Verse. Moreover, this very interesting article describes in Carolyn McDade's own words how “Spirit of Life” came to be and therein she implies that "all the other verses" were not part of “her original prayer.” That is why I did the attribution as you see above where I nevertheless posted all the words that I found in our hymnal. And I sing both verses in my rendition of the song that you can hear by clicking on the YouTube player, above, or by following this link directly.


Anonymous said...

So simply does not happen

Anonymous said...

I have removed this phrase

Anonymous said...

And what here to speak that?

Kevin Pammett said...

If you "anonymous" have an actual question for me, please click my "contact" link on this page. Otherwise I do not understand the 3 comments you've made and do not know how to respond. -Kevin

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