I’m glad that I am born to die, / From grief and woe my soul shall fly, / And I don’t care to stay here long!
Bright angels shall convey me home, / Away to New Jerusalem, / And I don’t care to stay here long!
Right up yonder, Christians, away up yonder; / Oh, yes, my Lord, for I don’t care to stay here long.
[Tim] Eriksen was originally brought in to provide the singing voice of the “Cold Mountain” character Stobrod, played by burly Irish actor Brendan Gleeson.
When asked to gather some singers for a studio session, he coaxed [T. Bone] Burnett and [Anthony] Minghella into documenting the real deal at Alabama’s Liberty Baptist Church. “I’ve learned that in order to record a Sacred Harp singing,” Eriksen says, “you have to have a Sacred Harp singing. That includes everything – dinner on the grounds, letting go of control over the songs, letting the craft sort itself out.”
Eriksen’s contributions to “Cold Mountain” didn’t stop there. He also played a bit part as the choirmaster; recorded a number of period songs, some solo, some with other Sacred Harp singers, some with folk artists Riley Baugus and Tim O’Brien; and accompanied the cast to rain-soaked Romania, where, through an interpreter, he taught 50 Romanian extras how to sing that type of music.