Singing is an amazing part of the human experience. We sing alone, we sing together, we sing with babies, children, youth, and adults, for joy and for sorrow, in solitude and in community. The Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Durham, North Carolina, conceived of this project to share the gift of song as widely as possible.
Our main goals are:
• To cultivate a shared Unitarian Universalist musical tradition of songs that we all know.
• To support singing and music-making by everyone, in our families, communities, and religious education classes.
• To instill in our young people a musical sense of their cultural identity.
The songs in this project were selected to be fun to sing, to project our values, beliefs, and principles, to be easy to learn, and to be a core part of our community’s traditions. The arrangements are simple so that they are easy to learn, and most of the songs have lots of repetition of both melody and lyrics. We chose songs to fit many different occasions and activities, from meditation and quiet reflection to enthusiastic, high-energy celebrations. We chose songs that children love to sing and can learn easily. And we chose songs that are traditionally used in a variety of different Unitarian Universalist settings and rituals, from opening hymns from our Sunday services to sing-along favorites that our youngest children’s chorus love.
Music sticks with us throughout our lives; songs we learn when we are young form a foundational part of our identity. We draw on them consciously and subconsciously for comfort, inspiration, courage, and reflection as years go by. We internalize their words and melodies in lasting ways. We often recall songs even when we have forgotten the other specifics of a lesson, sermon, reading, or story. A culture of singing can enrich an entire lifetime. It is in this spirit that we have created these recordings.
The production of this album was funded by grants from the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (ERUUF) Foundation. Over the course of four years, a dedicated team of staff and volunteers carefully selected, recorded and produced these 21 songs, always returning to the vision of supporting a joyous culture of singing at ERUUF and beyond. We hope this resource serves UU congregations, families, and all our children.