“Come to Zion” - Shaker “extra song” probably by Paulina Bates of Mount Lebanon, New York, 1864
“The Everlasting Fountain” - Shaker hymn text from Millennial Praises (Hancock, Mass., 1813), tune anon.
“Love Is Little” - Anonymous Shaker “extra song” from South union, Kentucky, ca. 1834
“The Stubborn Oak” - Shaker “extra song” attributed to Susanna Barret of Shirley, Mass., ca. 1823
“The Proclamation” - from Supplement to Kentucky Harmony, 1820
Each selection except “Come to Zion” begins with a brief introduction identifying the first phrase of the tune. These tunes were originally sung in unison and a cappella with the rhythmic energy identified by the Shaker style. Zabel maintains the early American singing sound in his accompaniment with the use of open fifths and a solid rhythmic foundation in the bass. The right hand follows the melody and may provide an additional tone to complete the color.
The title of each piece defines the text. “Come to Zion” is an invitation to seek healing at the altar. “The Everlasting Fountain” refers to God’s redeeming grace. “Love Is Little” references the foundation in our life for growth, peace, and light. “The Stubborn Oak” is a metaphor for our life - will you stand against God or will you bend like the willow to seek God’s will and mercy. “The Proclamation” shouts the message of salvation offered through Jesus.
PERFORMANCE OPTIONS include singing each song a cappella and/or unison in the traditional style. You may sing these as a unit since each contains only one stanza, or you may sing each one individually over the course of several weeks. They can work with all age groups independently or as a multigenerational effort. “Come to Zion” may be used as an introit, call to prayer, invitation, or anthem. “The Everlasting Fountain” may be used as an anthem, response to confession and pardon, or invitation. “Love Is Little” works as a response to scripture (as appropriate), benediction, or anthem. “The Stubborn Oak” works as a response to scripture (as appropriate), call to confession,, or anthem. “The Proclamation” may be used as a response to the Gospel reading (as appropriate), call to worship, benediction, or anthem.
APPROPRIATE DAYS: General worship
AGE APPROPRIATENESS: Older children, youth, and/or adult
VOCAL DIFFICULTY: Easy (for adults)
ACCOMPANIMENT DIFFICULTY: Easy