Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Sukkat Shalom

This is one of the rare instances in which I incorporated liturgy or text into a song. This text spoke to me. “A shelter of peace spreading out over all of us. A shelter of compassion, of life, of peace.” (Roughly translated.) Again, the image is vivid and multi-layered.

Though this text is not usually associated with the holiday of Sukkot, I chose to link them in this song. The holiday of Sukkot, like this text, is also multi-layered. It’s about much more than celebrating the harvest; it’s about leaving the corners of the fields and the gleanings that drop so that the less fortunate may eat. It’s about basic human survival. It’s about compassion and Tikun Olam (repairing the world).

This song is all about the poetry and the imagery of the lyric. The musical structure is fairly simple (it’s really almost exactly the same as Hallelujah Land if you think about it). The chorus departs somewhat with a riff borrowed from Elton John’s Your Song. I make no apologies. Whether Elton knows it or not, he is now a part of, what Pete Seeger calls, the Folk Process.

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