So this week at the fortnightly prayer gathering at All Souls we had a more interesting time than usual. We always spend some time singing together but on this week the computer we use to project the lyrics didn’t work. What to do?
There is a tradition in the African-American church called “lining”. Lining is a method of song leading where the leader speaks or sings a short part of a lyric and then the congregation joins in using a well-known melody. Sometimes the congregation can also improvise within a set form. It is in this improvisation that some of the most interesting, powerful, and moving expression takes place.
So on Tuesday night at All Souls we did a little Anglican lining. As you might have guessed, there was no group improvising going on but we sang REALLY well together with me lining, Claire Robinson singing melody with a mic, and Craig Hudson holding us together on piano. Craig’s contribution was particularly helpful for me as I was having trouble playing while trying really hard to remember the next lyric while the congregation was still singing the previous one.
This week’s song is an interesting one as it features lining for a soloist. The singer is Clarence Fountain who was the main soloist for the Blind Boys of Alabama for 60+ years. He is probably my favourite singer on the planet. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. And, as always, I’d appreciate your comments.
Have a great weekend!