Singing Seeking Stillness

By: Aidan Whelan
For: Voice + guitar
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Aidan Whelan
Easy (Grades 1-3)
1 minute
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Singing Seeking Stillness was written primarily for young people undertaking retreats and similar reflective experiences. With this audience in mind the melody is constructed in the key of C from simple scales and arpeggios, harmonised with an easy chord progression, to enable ready vocal and instrumental participation by young people of all musical abilities.

The song’s fulcrum musically and lyrically is the challenging question closing each stanza. The hearers’ arms, eyes, voices, feet, ears, hearts and minds are called together to make a “whole person” response to the retreat experience. Stanzas may be selected for particular purposes.

The first line of the question may be split into three parts, the first singing all 6 bars, the second joining on the third bar, the final set of voices joining two bars before the crescendo “Songs of celebration…”

The stanzas are structured around the retreat themes of vocation, reconciliation, silent reflection, doubt, prayer affirmation, and liturgy. References are also made to the embrace form of the Sign of Peace, the discovery of scripture, morning prayers and the dawn of adulthood. Two books by Damian Lundy, “Songs of the Spirit” and (with Gerard Rummery), “To Grow in Faith”, are alluded to. “Singing welcomes each new day” refers to the dawn chorus. “Speak Lord for your servant hears” is a reference to the call of Samuel in the silence of the night. The penultimate stanza alludes to the Walk to Emmaus in Luke 24. Group leaders can chose to develop any of the component themes as their session requires.

The final two lines may be repeated with extemporised lyrics, e.g. “Praising God with singing, praising God with song”,

“Saying yes to Jesus, saying yes to Jesus, saying yes to God”,

“Loving one another, loving one another loving God in all”

This song was written in memory of Damian Lundy.

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