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Song of the Month

October 30, 2015 by

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Singing has always been important to followers of Christ; the Apostle Paul reminded the Ephesians (and also the Colossians) to “...be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father...” (Eph. 5:18–20).

As anyone who has visited us knows, we do a lot of singing at the Bruderhof. We sing in our homes, in our schools, at communal mealtimes, and in our worship services. We sing songs of praise and worship, Easter hymns and Christmas carols. But we’re not limited to just that; we also sing old English ploughing and May songs, German ballads or “Lieder,” American folk favorites, and songs borrowed from all around the world. Songs about sledding, skating, hiking, swimming, camping, gardening, and pumpkin carving – songs covering all the seasons of the year. Some of these songs are written by folks from our communities, sometimes even by children. And in all our singing, it’s not about performance or perfection, but about the joy that comes when hearts and voices unite.

We’ve decided to share some of the rich musical treasures from our vast repertoire with you. Every month we’ll post a song, some seasonal, some not, sung by a group of us. Perhaps (like this month) it will be a small choir of college-age young people, or it may be a crowd of elementary school kids, or a family, or a soloist with piano or guitar. Nothing will be professionally recorded or overly-produced – no autotune and wall-of-sound here. Simpler is better.

To kick off the series, and to celebrate (or should that be mourn?) the ending of autumn, here’s a beautiful poem by Vincent Godfrey Burns (a former Poet Laureate of Maryland ) set to music by Erika Hildel Wright in the 1970s. (Erika is now a grandmother who lives at our Spring Valley Bruderhof.)

What magic there is in the wand that autumn wields
When it pours its stream of gold on harvest fields;
A loveliness tinting all that shines to the eyes
With purple curtains let down from the skies;
The maples hang flaming banners on every wood.
The cornstalks march in their ranks of brotherhood.
The barns are bursting with grain and the apples fall,
And a wondrous peace seems somehow part of it all.
On the far horizon the clouds are heaped like snow
And the theater of heaven is bright with sovereign glow;
The bees are filling their hives with a dusty gold,
And the heart is filled with more than a heart can hold.

Find more Songs of the Month here.

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About the author

Andrew Zimmerman, Austria

Andrew Zimmerman

Andrew Zimmerman and his family live at the Gutshof Bruderhof, recently founded in Austria.

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  • We love hearing you sing! We love singing with you, on many many occasions. Looking forward soon to the Carols at Beechgrove, Nonington UK., and seeing our many friends there!

    Jan Cooper
  • Lovely. How blest we are to have you in the Hudson Valley. Loved Messiah las year, and so looking forward to this year as well. Thank you

    laura howard
  • The Bruderhof Community is one of the most giving, caring and talented people I know. This is beautiful, looking for to the next one.

    Priscilla Lowe
  • I love the Bruderhof! and I love your music...but I don't like the word 'magic'....I connotes occult forbiddent things. Perhaps a better word would be...glory, beauty, power....

    Hermine Dow
  • Thank you!

    Mark Anderson
  • These voices truly bring GLORY to God!

    Nicole Blatter