Quaker Universalist Conversations

Sing in the Spirit: A Book of Quaker Songs

Leaveners: Inspiring Change through the Arts is a Quaker arts charity in the United Kingdom. In 2005, they published Sing in the Spirit: A Book of Quaker Songs (revised edition in 2012). The title comes from The Journal of George Fox, and the words were also quoted in the Quaker Song Book, the first collection of songs made by British Quakers in 1981. Leavener staff person Hannah Greyson-Gaito offers the following description.

"Sing in the Spirit," Leaveners' Press (2013) Originally assembled by British Quakers, Sing in the Spirit inspires Quaker worship through song. It includes high quality Christian and Quaker-inspired songs with many newly written compositions by contemporary Quaker musicians.

With 191 songs, there is a huge variety to encompass any aspect of worship, a gathering and life in general. The book is divided into these categories: 1. Approaches to God. Worship, Prayer, Praise, Bible 2. Faithful lives 3. Openings 4. Children & young people 5. Testimonies 6. Unity of creation 7. Unity & diversity. There are also numerous indexes.

The songs touch on diverse themes of social justice, environmental concern, equality, peace and spirituality, as well as reflecting upon the lives of significant Friends in the past such as George Fox, James Nayler and Margaret Fell.

The songs cater to singers and musicians of all experience levels and there is a clear encouragement to follow Leaveners’ example by being creative, experimental and individual with the music. Why not try adding percussion or playing parts on a flute or recorder? Or perhaps you might want to use songs with guitar chords for a camping trip and save the ones in two parts for a particular choral group….

As you can see, there is a song for everyone!

The song book is published by Leaveners, an arts charity based in Birmingham (UK). Leaveners offer a unique, high-quality programme of arts-based workshops, projects and events that explore issues relating to human rights, social justice, peace and spirituality. They draw upon contemporary Quaker values to guide and shape their projects and events, with the aim of inspiring meaningful conversations about such challenging issues. Proceeds from the song book sales go directly to supporting their important work.

As the editorial team so aptly put it in the foreword: ‘May this book encourage and enable all Quaker music makers to Sing in the Spirit.’

Notes

Sing in the Spirit songbooks can be bought from the Christian Bits UK website or from the Amazon US site.

Visit Poets Corner, an exciting digital platform showcasing and supporting work of aspiring poets of all ages, backgrounds and styles. Leaveners aim to inspire up-and-coming poets to research and create a literary work – of publishable standard.