Last summer I learned a song that has stuck with me ever since. I was at a religious education summer conference, and Laurie Loosigian taught us “This Is the Sound of One Voice,” written by Ruth Moody of the Wailing Jennies. The melody reminds me of white spirituals, and it easy to harmonize. The lyrics sound equally good around a campfire or in a liberal church. The first verse says:
This is the sound of one voice,
One spirit, one voice,
The sound of one who makes a choice;
This is the sound of one voice.
The second and third verses are about two voices and then three voices singing together, and then the song says:
This is the sound of all of us:
Singing with love and the will to trust,
Leave the rest behind it will turn to dust;
This is the sound of all of us.
There’s an online video of the Wailing Jennies singing the song here. They sing in close harmony, with the usual slightly breathy voices of the commercial folk music circuit. I’d rather sing it full-throated, with more dispersed harmonies, and more emotion — less like commercial folk, and more like a spiritual. Either way, I think it would make a pretty good song to sing in church.