Sacred Harp

Sacred Harp 312b: ‘Restoration’

You’ll recognize the words, maybe not the tune. I picked this video because a kid is leading it:

Come, Thou Fount of ev’ry blessing, / Tune my heart to sing Thy grace.
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, / Call for songs of loudest praise.

I will rise and go to Jesus, / He’ll embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior; / Oh there are ten thousand charms.

Teach me some melodious sonnet, / Sung by flaming tongues above;
Praise the mount — O fix me on it — / Mount of Thy redeeming love!

Sacred Harp 47b: ‘Idumea’

From the 1982 Holly Springs Sacred Harp Convention, filmed by Lomax and crew, much of which can be found here. The words are by Charles Wesley:

And am I born to die? / To lay this body down!
And must my trembling spirit fly / Into a world unknown?

A land of deepest shade, / Unpierced by human thought;
The dreary regions of the dead, / Where all things are forgot!

Soon as from earth I go, / What will become of me?
Eternal happiness or woe / Must then my portion be!

Waked by the trumpet sound, / I from my grave shall rise;
And see the Judge with glory crowned, / And see the flaming skies!

There are a lot of versions of this online, including from the “Cold Mountain” soundtrack, which somebody set to clips from Battlestar Galactica to pretty awesome effectThe one from the 2012 Irish convention is the loudest, but I already posted a video from it. Sufjan Stevens did a version on one of his Christmas albums.

Sacred Harp 282: ‘I’m Going Home’

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.

I like this version better than the one that ended up in the movie. Supposedly T. Bone Burnett was at the session:

[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.