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Musically Speaking – November 3, 2023

Nov 3, 2023

This month, our theme is Generosity. The First Parish Choir will be singing two anthems that are about sharing our world with others. We sing about reaching people different from us, ideally, with the generosity of compassion and understanding. Here are the two songs:

“Why Do We Build the Wall?” by Anais Mitchell
This is from the musical, Hadestown, by Anais Mitchell and it is a conversation between Hades and a chorus that are his subjects. Hades is providing the narrative which the subjects are supporting. This song captures a mindset of extremes. It can be provocative and powerful to hear. We will be joined by guitar, bass and drums.

Countering this, a second anthem, is “Take Down These Walls” by Brian Tate. For some context, it was written in 2017, as walls were being built to keep immigrants from coming to the US from Mexico and beyond. The song lyrics speak to a generosity of spirit.
    “Take down these walls that divide us.
     Take down these walls so deep inside us.
     With all your heart and soul, Reach out and make us whole.
     When all resistance falls, take down these walls.”

The First Parish Choir will sing these on November 19th, the service that precedes Thanksgiving.

Remember Vespers this month is on November 28th at 7 pm.


Charlyn Bethell
Music Director | + posts

Charlyn’s professional training has followed two paths: as a professional oboist and as a music teacher and conductor. As Music Director at First Parish, she joins these two paths of her musical life, conducting the choir, coordinating guest musicians, and performing on oboe.

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