Sacred Song Delights

Singing is one of life’s great joys and a natural transmitter of Spirit. Here are some favorites from my ever-growing list of sacred songs that have delighted, inspired, and lifted me along the way.

Block print by JT

1.  BLACKBIRD  –  “Take these sunken eyes and learn to see, all your life, you were only waiting for this moment to be free”  (John Lennon and Paul McCartney)

2.  BREATHS  –  “Listen more often to things than to beings; ’tis the ancestors’ breath when the fire’s voice is heard”  (Ysaye M. Barnwell )

3.  BRIGHT ANGEL FALLS  –  “And then live out my days in the ancient ones’ ways, dancing on ridges, riding the waves”  (Susan Osborn)

4.  DA PACEM DOMINE  – “Da pacem, Domine, in diebus nostris” – tr.: “Give peace, O Lord, in our time”  (Melchior Franck)

5.  DOOR OF MY HEART – “Wilt Thou come, wilt Thou come, just for once come to me”  (Bengali Chant tr. Paramhansa Yogananda)

6.  ELI, ELI (“MY GOD, MY GOD”) –  “I pray that these things never end: the sand and the sea, the rush of the waters, the crash of the heavens, the prayer of the heart”  (Lyrics: Hannah Szenes; music: David Zehavi)

7.  LAY DOWN YOUR BURDEN  – “Place the light before you, come through the door, the dragon doesn’t live here anymore”  (Susan Osborn)

8.  MAY THE LONGTIME SUN SHINE UPON YOU – “May the pure light within you guide your way on” (lyrics from The Incredible String Band, as sung by Snatam Kaur)

9.  MAY THE ROAD RISE TO MEET YOU  – “May the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face, and the rain fall softly on your fields”  (Celtic blessing)

10.  PEACE I ASK OF THEE O RIVER  – “From the hills I gather courage, visions of a day to be”  (a classic Girl Scouts campfire song by  Glendora Gosling and Viola Wood) 

11.  PERFECT LIGHT  – “Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night”  (lyrics: Sarah Williams, music: Joseph Haydn)

12.  RETURN AGAIN  – “Return to who you are, return to what you are … return to the land of your soul”  (by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach)

13.  RISE UP O FLAME  – “By thy light glowing, show to us beauty, vision and joy”  (Christoph Praetorius)

14.  SH’MA  – “Sh’ma Yisrael Adonai Elohaynu Adonai Echad”  (trans. “Hear oh Israel, the Lord is our God, The Lord is one”)  (Jewish prayer)

15.  SHENANDOAH  –  “Oh Shenandoah, I long to see you, away you rolling river”  (trad.)

16.  SOMOS EL BARCO  – “We are the boat, we are the sea, I sail in you, you sail in me”  (Lorre Wyatt)

17.  SWEET SURRENDER  – “We are opening up in sweet surrender to the luminous love light of the One”  (author unknown)

18.  THE OCEAN REFUSES NO RIVER  – “The open heart refuses no part of you, no part of me”  (Lorna Flood)

19.  THY LIGHT IS IN ALL FORMS  – “Thy light is in all forms, Thy love in all beings”  (Sufi prayer by Hazrat Inayat Khan)

20.  WE ARE  –  “For each child that’s born, a morning star rises and sings to the Universe who we are”  (Ysaye M. Barnwell)

21.  YONDER COME DAY  – “Day is ‘a breakin’, sun is a’risin’ in my soul”  (this version by the Georgia Sea Island Singers reflects its roots in Gullah culture)


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