Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Songs as queries

A couple of months ago, Strawberry Creek's First Day School committee asked me to do two sessions on songwriting with the upper elementary group. We sang some peace songs together, and I brought in Margaret Fell's account of hearing George Fox speak for the first time ("We are all thieves" and "What canst thou say?"). We talked a lot about finding one's own voice, letting songs work on you experientially and making them your own, possible parallels between the folk process and Quaker process.

The second time we met, we knew that the teen group was working on responses to a set of queries and advices from Faith and Practice. Upper elementary was small that day, but didn't want to join the teens. One of the kids requested "Blowing in the Wind," and after we sang it I pointed out that the verses were entirely made up of questions. The same kid who had requested it said he'd always wondered about the question [paraphrasing Dylan here] "How many times can we all turn our heads, pretending that we just don't see?", and this led quite naturally into Quaker dialogue and discussion.

So my question for you all is: Are there songs that pose queries which lead you to reflect on your own experience? Do they move you, provoke you, guide or change you? What songs, if any, have been traveling companions on your spiritual journey?