Behind the Music: Lovely sky and sea; well, it used to be.

The earth has been a subject of inspiration for composers across the world for centuries; each of the musical compositions below were used for today’s service with this Sunday’s theme in mind: building relationships through care for our earth.

The choir’s first anthem, “Emerald Stream” (by Seth Houston) is a rollicking tune reminiscent of a sea shanty or drinking song, but while toe-tapping and moving to the beat, careful listeners will have caught the warning the song offers: 

So, now, my people beware,

You’re in charge of the seas and the earth and the air,

You’d better take extr-odinary care

Of the earth, our only home.

 “Earth Song”, the choir’s second anthem, originally started as an instrumental work, but Frank Ticheli stated “this music is just begging to be sung by a chorus”.  “Earth Song” beseeches the world for kindness and peace, while praising the healing power of music and song.

Sing, Be, Live, See…the scorched earth cries out in vain.

Today’s offertory “Look Around” hails from the 1991 musical The Will Rodgers Follies.  Alone, the music of “Look Around” is lovely and poignant, but only when the song lyrics are known is the sadness of this beautiful song understood.

Look around, the world’s a lovely place, lovely sky and sea; well, it used to be.

Look around, the world is shining bright, watch the green grass grow; well, that once was so.

Where’s the spring that loved the rain?

Where’s the grove down Lover’s Lane?

Look around, they vanish overnight

Where’s the lovely world we used to see.

And finally, Joni Mitchell’s beloved “Big Yellow Taxi” reminds us of the consequences of our actions on the environment and the need to take responsibility for protecting our planet.

Today’s service will hopefully inspire us to take action to care for our planet and build stronger relationships with each other and the earth. We can reflect on the importance of preserving our natural resources, taking responsibility for our actions, and fostering appreciation for the beauty and diversity of the world around us. By doing so, we can build a more just, sustainable, and compassionate world for all.