All posts for the month August, 2014

August 27 meeting of the Common Ground Street Choir:

It was a long and exciting meeting….we had a total of 14 people join us for an evening of (mostly) singing.  What most impressed me was how of one mind the group is.  As you can see below, decisions made were by consensus or amiable balloting. Other work was done, too:

1.  Our next meeting is September 10, 7 pm at Oak Cliff UU at 3839 W. Kiest.

2.  We discussed attending the Dallas Pride Parade on September 21.  We are invited to assemble and sing at the NTUUC booth at Lee Park (a good time to recruit members), as well as join the walking “float.”  In previous years, NTUUC has had the largest contingent of any of the floats.  We discussed songs that would be good to sing:  This Little Light of Mine, Come and Go With Me, Welcome Table.

3.  We selected the next 8 songs to add to our repertoire.  This was done by ballot (and some lobbying) from the list of Additional Songs (as well as a couple of others).  The results:


We’re Gonna Sit at the Welcome Table (grey, 407)

Love Will Guide Us (grey, 131)

I’m On My Way (grey, 116)

One More Step (grey, 168)

De Colores (in English too) (grey, 305)

Let There Be Peace on Earth

This Land Is Your Land

I’ve Got a Hammer


A songsheet will be created with words to each song and we can discuss finer points of lyrics (some of us remember them one way and others another).  For example, for Let There Be Peace on Earth, we discussed modifying “solemn vow” to “joyous vow” and “live in peace eternally” to “live in peace and harmony.”  We also chose “God our creator” over “God as our father” by unanimous vote.  After reviewing a loaned copy of “Everybody Says Freedom” by Pete Seeger and Bob Reiser, we found an additional verse to “Kum By Yah” that begins…”We want justice.”  We liked that a lot.  It will go onto the songsheet.

 4.  With the songsheet, we will be “tagging” each song with topics for which it is most suited. Although most of our songs are pretty generic to the topic, we will be selecting topic tags such as “immigration,” “war/peace,” “civil rights,” “environment,” etc.

5.  JudithAnn introduced us to a small independent film crew doing a documentary on “We Are Humanity.” They were seeking groups who were concerned about social issues (e.g., Ferguson, MO) and world events (e.g., Middle East). They are associated with the Art Institute of Dallas. We agreed to be filmed (most of us in our yellow “Love” shirts), singing our 4-part round, “Building Bridges.”  (This gave us really great practice….because it took 3 video takes and 1 audio take before they were finished, in addition to our rehearsing!)

6.  Save the Date….Finally, there are a number of people who would like to participate, but have choir rehearsals on Wednesdays. Although they will be able to keep abreast of repertoire through our songsheets and website, it would be nice for all to meet and sing together to enhance our sense of unity. In a discussion after the meeting it was proposed that we hold a general SingALong one Sunday evening, perhaps at First UU which is centrally located. Daniel Polk will be checking the schedule for Raible Chapel for Sunday, September 28.



Facebook event link:
Join the Swarm and take part in a week-long campaign of Global actions to Save the Bees! Together we will Pester the Pesticide Pushers and Swarm together to BAN Neonicotinoids and other poisonous chemicals. We need to keep the bees alive to pollinate our food!

Big Day of Action – August 16th, National Honey Bee Day. Start getting your BEE costumes ready now! We’ll have a family-friendly rally with BEE flash-mob dance for all ages.

Here’s the BUZZ:

WHO? Lovers of HONEY BEES and the food they pollinate (70% of what we eat!)

WHAT? Family-friendly event to raise awareness about why and how we need to SAVE THE BEES!

WHERE? Klyde Warren Park, Dallas

WHEN? Aug 11-16 – week-long series of events with MAIN EVENT ON SATURDAY, AUG 16 – National Honey Bee Day! FULL SCHEDULE:

MONDAY, Aug 11, 8:00 p.m. – “DO THE HONEY BEE” FLASH-MOB PRACTICE DAY on the Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge! ( Dance practice, followed by a LIGHT DISPLAY with the North Texas Light Brigade. (Here’s the dance we’ll be doing; the lyrics to the song are included, in case you want to sing along;; INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO HERE:
We’ll spell out SAVE THE BEES in lights before the beautiful Dallas Skyline and make a video & group photo that you can share with your friends. Come be a “Holder of the Light!”

TUESDAY, Aug 12, all day – MAKE YOUR VOICE BEE HEARD DAY. Call your legislators (866-220-0044) and tell them to ban Neonicotinoids! Demand legislation that will protect pollinators and our food supply.

WEDNESDAY, Aug 13, 9:45 a.m. – BUZZ AROUND DALLAS DAY – we’ll ride the train around DFW in our BEE costumes, getting off at different stops to BUZZ around and “Do the Honey Bee,” sharing info about the bees and our Saturday SWARM. Meet us at 9:45 a.m. at the Kiosk in front of the Mockingbird DART Station; buy your all-day ticket and bee ready to board the 10:08 train towards Parker Road Staiton. The train will stop at the Forest Lane Station at 10:19, if anyone wants to jump on there and join us. We’ll disembark at the Downtown Plano Station at 10:33 to “do our BEE thing” in and around Haggard Park. Then we’ll reboard the DART, and make stops (including one for lunch) at other stations on the way back to Mockingbird Station.

THURSDAY, Aug 14, all day – BEE A BUSY BEE DAY! Wear your BEE costume everywhere you go all day. When people ask why the heck you’re dressed like a BEE, you can tell them about the BEEs and our Saturday event and pass out flyers if you want (we’ll have them at the Monday event, or make your own).

SATURDAY, August 16, 9:00 a.m. – This will BEE the MAIN EVENT: SWARM DALLAS TO SAVE THE BEES! Klyde Warren Park. Dress like a BEE or wear yellow/black/white. We’re starting early to beat the heat. There will bee:

–Chalk party and face painting

–BEE fashion show (We’ll make a fun video with all the kiddos who want to model their costumes, so bee practicing your runway walk, now!)

–Speakers with all the buzz about the bees

–BEE flash-mob/dance for all ages (INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO:

–short march/ “Parade of Bees” to show that BEES are our friends!

–souvenirs/mementos for kids to take home to remind them how much we LOVE THE BEES!

(we’ll encourage everyone to wear their bee costumes everywhere they go for the rest of the day and hand out flyers)

*Check here for last-minute changes before leaving for any event(s).

*This is a nonpartisan, peaceful, family-friendly event. So as not to co-opt or distract from our very important message, please keep signs or symbols on-message: Save the bees, stop the use of poisonous chemicals and GMOs that harm people and the planet. Stop Monsanto. Organics – good; Neonics – bad.

We have decided to make an appearance at the Bee Swarm on Klyde Warren Park on Saturday, August 16, 9 am.  We’re meeting at UUCOC at 8:45 to car pool over.  If you decide to join us, wear a yellow t-shirt – or a Standing on the Side of Love t-shirt if you have one. The “colors” of the day are bee colors – yellow and black and white.  We may or may not sing – depends, because the program is already set, but if we see a chance, we may lift our voices in support of bees!  We’ll bring extra copies of song sheets – or you can print out your own from the Resources section of this website. The song sheet has the latest revisions as of August 13.

Read more about the Bee Swarm by scrolling down to an earlier entry.


At Oak Cliff UU, Wednesday, August 13, 7 pm

From Anita:
I’ve also put together a Song Sheet for our first repertoire selections, and a listing of additional songs we discussed. (Thank you Pat for proofreading and commenting!) [In our resources section.]

ACTION ALERT: There is a rally on Saturday in favor of the Bees and educating the public ​on the devastating effects of neonicotinoids and other pesticides on bees and other pollinators. We can discuss details and who might be interested in participating.

Also, let’s think of songs carrying a message for respecting the environment.

We have a flyer that can be printed (I’ll have copies available on Wednesday) for distribution or posting.

See y’all at Oak Cliff UU!

A couple of notes – this music is free to download, which means that you can print it and copy it, making sure that you credit Emma’s Revolution/Pat Humphries as the source:

I tend to teach and use just the chorus for simplicity’s sake.  When Emma’s Revolution performs it, they get the audience started, then they split forces – Sandy keeps the audience going on the chorus, Pat goes off on the solo line.  As we get more familiar with it, we can try adding that, but for now let’s just keep it simple.  Peace, Salaam, Shalom!

– Kathy Smith

Emma’s Revolution threw down the gauntlet at their workshop at GA. They said we’ve lost the peaceful nonviolent protests of the 60s and 70s. Now, no one seems to know the songs – or sings at protests and marches.  Now it’s the three-word chant, which is confrontational.

They challenged congregations to start Revolutionary Street Choirs to show up at protests to SING the message, and teach the old songs and bring some new ones, too. Singing evokes emotion.  It’s a peaceful, nonviolent way to convey a message.  And it can create magic.

Tonight we saw some new faces….the group is growing!

First, we chose a name:  COMMON GROUND STREET CHOIR
After much thought, we wanted to be inclusive with our name – stressing the commonalities between us all – as well as keep the “street choir” part to encourage anyone to join us.

Our tag line is Giving Life the Shape of Justice (Pat’s going to work on t-shirts)

Our “theme song” is Building Bridges…

We then chose from many suggestions the first phase of songs – the first round of our repertoire.  Maybe next meeting we’ll choose another 6 or 7.

So the first round is (including key for a pitch pipe if Kathy Smith isn’t there to keep us on key!) – of course we had to test them all out!:

Teal 1023 (Fmin) Building Bridges
Grey 162 (F) Down by the Riverside
(F) This Little Light of Mine
Grey 401 (C) Kum ba Yah  – this was seen as a good calming song
Teal 1018 (Bflat?) Come and Go with Me
Grey (D) I’ve Got Peace Like a River
Grey 169 (F) We Shall Overcome

Pat and Anita will be working on a “cheat sheet” for us to remember words without having to print out all lyrics. We’ll get that out before the next meeting, so we can “test” it out.

We also agreed that if an opportunity for us to sing at a rally, we’ll put out the word with “Action Alert” in the subject line.

Next Meeting:  Wednesday, August 13, UUCOC, 7 pm.