Surviving Social Distancing: A Playlist!

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” - Plato

“I don’t know anything about music, In my line you don’t have to.” -Elvis Presley

Yes, friends, we live in strange times, but many great things happen during strange times (tip: open up any part of your Bible.) But your staff and clergy at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Winston-Salem, N.C. want to help.

That is why our Director of Communications asked the staff to each provide two songs for a “Surviving Social Distancing” playlist available on Spotify here:

Have a listen, and on behalf of the St. Paul’s team, we hope it helps you feel connected to us.

Warning, we are a bit proud to be an odd bunch and our music choices reflect that. In fact, any playlist that includes Carly Rae Jepsen’s, Call Me Maybe, and Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major performed by Yo-Yo Ma is practically mental. So listen with an open mind and enjoy.

About the music choices:

Bill Rahn, Sexton and Security
Eye of The Tiger, by Survivor
“Strengthens and motivates”

Let it Be, by The Beatles
“Comforts and Soothes”

AND —- when we get through this (EDITED OUT),

Here Comes the Sun, by The Beatles
“for obvious reasons”

(and then Bill added)

Live is Life, by Opus
“My all time feel good song. Group from Vienna. Please check out extended version in 2015 video from live concert in Vienna. 6 minutes plus and very uplifting. I look at it almost every day.”

Betsy Reiners, Executive Assistant to the Rector and Membership Coordinator
Spiegel im spiegel, by Arvo Part
“The movement of this song makes me feel happy and sad; the bitter with the sweet.”

The Mystery of Love, by Sufjan Stevens
“This song reminds me of all the different love we feel and need.”

Robin Webster, CPA, Parish Accountant
All you need is love, by The Beatles
“This song reminds me of what it really matters in life. This will help get us through.”

Uptown Funk, by Bruno Mars
“This song is upbeat and it makes me happy. It’s hard not to smile when I hear it.”

Kris Cox, ReadWS Executive Director
Viva La Vida, by Coldplay

There Will Be A Day, by Jeremy Camp
“is a song of hope”

Lean on Me by Bill Withers
“because it’s our family motto”

The Rev. Nancy Vaders, Director of Outreach Ministries
Cigarettes and Coffee, by Otis Redding
“This is a beautiful song about the simple joy of sitting at the kitchen table with someone you love and dreaming about the future.”

Time After Time, by Cindi Lauper
“reminds me of the importance of being present, in all the varying circumstances of our lives. It was also my favorite song that played at the skate rink when I was a kid!”

The Rev. Lauren Villemuer-Drenth, Director of Children’s Ministries
Beautiful Day, by U2
“because it reminds us to celebrate the day and see the beauty in all our circumstances.”

Christmas Lullaby from Songs of a New World (not a Christmas song), by Jason Robert Brown (writer-Broadway play)
“because we have the power to make the world better, wherever we are.”

Tubthumping, by Chumbawumba
“because it is impossible to sit still and it is all about getting up when you feel knocked down.”

The Rev. D. Dixon Kinser, Rector
Beautiful Day by U2
“This was the first single off U2’s 2000 come back record. How do we find hope in the middle of trying and difficult circumstances? The answer: gratitude. It’s a beautiful day, don’t let it get away.”

The Rising by Bruce Springsteen
“‘The Rising’ is the title track off of Springsteen’s first, post 9/11 album. While written as a response to those events, it is now seen more broadly as a universal anthem of resilience and hope. Come on up for the Rising! ’Nuff said.”

Amy Schell, Clergy Assistant and Worship Publications Coordinator
Give Me Jesus - Danny Gokey (he looks a little like Nick!)
“I love the gospel sounds of both. One, of course, is a Christian song and the words and the beat are uplifting to me. I usually look for music to be more upbeat than slow and classical. I enjoy slow and classical, but when I need uplifting I look for more.”

Tomorrow is Today – Billy Joel
“I just discovered both! The Billy Joel song I love because the message of hope and love grows in it, as well as the beat and gospel sound, where it’s not present at first.”

The Rev. Nick VanHorn, Director of Youth Ministries
Graceland, by Paul Simon
“This song is about living with mistakes and moving forward. A story of a man reflecting on the past while he and his son are heading toward Graceland. Paul Simon uses the idea of Graceland as a place for redemption which runs analogous with salvation.”

Awake My Soul, by Mumford & Sons
“A song about love and loss but also leans towards an understanding of accepting of mortality. The song concludes by repeating ‘You were meant to meet your maker’ alluding to the idea that mortality is a gift that allows us to return to God.”

The Rev. Sara Ardrey-Graves, Associate Rector
This too shall pass, by Ok Go
“This song was first recommended to me by a friend who was going to a funeral for a dear friend. To this day, it’s still the song that I think best illustrates letting go and embracing new life at the same time. This isn’t a Spotify link, but the music video they did with band instruments makes me smile:

23rd Psalm, Hylton Stewart (St. John’s, Cambridge choir)
“This Sunday’s psalm is the 23rd Psalm, which is a familiar one we hear often at church. These words of comfort speak to me especially today, when I think about how interconnected we all are, how fragile life can be, and how our good shepherd will always bring us home to green pastures and full tables.”

Peggy Slater, Afternoon Receptionist and Administrative Assistant
“If you don’t have any Beatles, then I think we need Here Comes the Sun and All You Need Is Love. Yes, I will always be old school.”

Ellen Young, Morning Receptionist and Administrative Assistant
I Believe, by Cowboy Mouth
“It’s uplifting in a time of turmoil.”

Jason Franklin, Director of Communications
7, by Prince
“This song is supposedly about the seven deadly sins and I think the lyrics are beautiful, ‘All seven and we’ll watch them fall They stand in the way of love And we will smoke them all.'”

River, by Leon Bridges
“I heard this song once in church and it brought me to tears. It’s about injustice and fear and crying out to God. Very appropriate.”

I’m Good, by The Mowgli’s
“I preached once at my previous parish about both Jonah and Jesus when he’s moody and this was the song I asked the musicians to play after. It’s about learning to value the life you have chosen to live.”

Chris Martin, Volunteer Photographer
Don’t Speak, by No Doubt
“Because sometimes you just don’t want to hear bad news”

Call Me Maybe, by Carly Rae Jepson
“Because even if you’re social distancing, you can still call someone you like”

Dr. Mark Ardrey-Graves, Director of Music for Children and Youth
Evocation to a Friend, The Choir of Canterbury Cathedral
“This song, for 4-part Treble choir, featured at last summer’s RSCM Charlotte Course, sets a lament poem by David Race in which themes of friendship and connection, in the midst of despair and loneliness, are personified as a “bird of hope” – perhaps the Holy Spirit?

Here’s the poem:
In the midst of my despair calls a distant bird of hope
Hanging on the hillside air, single line of silver rope:
O dear friend, call loud and clear, in my desperation hear.
My enemies are heartless, I am nothing in their sight:
My soul cries out in darkness through the everlasting night.
Reach out, enfold me in your care, wipe away the tears of time,
Let my soul unburden here, to rest in time is not a crime:

Be still my friend, I’m with you, the night will pass away, your tears will be the morning dew, your light will shine another day.
O dear friend, call loud and clear, I your desperation hear.”

Troisième Leçon à deux viox pour le mercredy saint, by Catherine Greuillet, Isabelle Desrochers, Philippe Foulon, and Olivier Vernet
“Verses from the Book of Lamentations (1:10-13), sung in Latin, expressively highlight the lament over the destruction of Jerusalem and its allegorical connection to Christ’s suffering and Passion – and give voice to our own inner laments. The composer, François Couperin, saves his most mournful – and hopeful – music for the letters of the Hebrew alphabet (Jod, Lamed, Mem, Nun) that begin each verse.”

The Rev. Darby Oliver Everhard, Associate Rector
I want Jesus to Walk with Me (It’s in the LEVAS 2 #70), by the Bonner Family
“I heard this on Sunday in the live stream of the WNC service and it was beautiful and comforting.

Suite No. 1 in G Major for Solo Cello, BMV 1007:1. Prelude - performed by Yo-Yo Ma (see the Essential Yo-Yo Ma album)
“this is one of my favorites and helps me to center myself on God.”

Dr. John Cummins, Director of Adult Choirs and Organist
St. John Passion, by Bob Chilcott

Requiem, by Dan Locklair

“The choirs really loved performing these works and especially recording the world premiere of Dan’s Requiem. He and his wife Paula are members of St Paul’s.”