Songs of Sorrow / Songs of Hope

by Steve Schallert

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about

ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE… SO LET'S SING ABOUT IT ///

It’s been a wild ride after a hiatus of almost seven years from making music to feel the tug back into the studio. These seven years have been slammed full of life, family, kids, traveling the nations, life in war torn countries, witnessing violence, poverty, racism, putting up a fight against those realities, failures, growth, death, life - you name it. They have also been slammed full of meaningful relationships with marginalized communities scattered all across God's world who are doing outlandishly beautiful things in often outlandishly difficult situations as they try to follow Jesus and give a witness that another world is indeed possible.

As I have traveled this world I have found myself consistently turning to music, once again, as a primary tool to try to make sense of it all. "Making sense" is something I think we all tend to try and do, which is why I believe worship is such an instrumental part of the life of faith. As I've journeyed I have personally found a tremendous solace in the joint histories of African American spirituals (particularly the sorrow songs), folk music, various streams of protest music, as well as anglo/catholic spirituality and liturgy. The intersection of those wildly contrasting traditions seemed far and wide to me for years until one day I realized something...

WORSHIP is PROTEST ///

The unifying reality of all the aforementioned streams is one of a "voice crying out in the wilderness" for another world and another way. One sitting in the tension of the violence of our world, choosing to see it as it really is, while still trusting stubbornly in the reality of Resurrection. Like grass wiggling it's way through the cracks of concrete, worship, at its core is the affirmation that the concrete slab is bound to break and give way to something new.

"SONGS OF SORROW / SONGS OF HOPE" is my attempt to reaffirm the place of lamentation within the world of congregational worship music. My prayer is that these songs, songs written all over the world in all kind of circumstances, will be both a comfort and a challenge to communities of faith. A comfort and affirmation for all of us who mourn and struggle and weep and doubt and a challenge for us all to love deeper and wider and more recklessly.

Peace be with you,
Steve Schallert

credits

released December 19, 2014

Words & Music by Steve Schallert
Produced by Nathan Horst @ Attic Recording Studios (Harrisburg, PA)

Steve Schallert - Vocals, Acoustic Guitars, Electric Guitars
Mika Ariel McClurkin - Vocals
Nathan Horst - Electric Guitars, Vibraphone, Percussion
Andrew Aitken - Drums, Percussion
John Schallert - Pianos, Organs, Rhodes
Christopher Flinchbaugh - Bass
Community Singing - Steve Schallert, Mika Ariel McClurkin, Megan Fischer, Lindsey Horst, Nathan Horst, James McLaughlin & Josh Lamb

A HUGE THANKS TO ALL THE ALBUM SUPPORTERS WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS MISCHIEF -

THE CO-PRODUCERS:

Mary & David Schallert, Tom & Peg Byrnes

THE MOVERS & THE SHAKERS:

Ben & Kandice Peterson

THE CO-CONSPIRATORS:

Rog & Deb Andruss, Sadie Krahn, Karl Bratnober, Jon & Mary Catherine Schallert, Donovan Mattole, Liam & Rachel Byrnes, Daniel Chae, Christian & Sharee Fox, Kathrine Fosstveit, Emily Whetsler, Jeff & Christie Lothamer, Mark & Dorota Mimms, Ryan & Jeanette Wojton, Jacob Wagener, Jeff Pratt, The Nystrom Family, Kyle Nabors, Melissa Chinworth, Tristan Gilmour, Steven David Branon, Michael Dyer, Joan & Trevor Godard, Ben Bradshaw, Oliver Schwendemann, Andreas Garphammar, Brandon Patrick Stark, Christine Fontaine, George Hsia, Paul Michaud, Johnny & Jenni Gillespie, Chelsea Sumner, Steven Soto, Samantha & Daniel Stedman, Clint & Hailey Gooch, Hannah Choi, Mika Ariel McClurkin, Graham & Alissa Malinowski, Matthew Scott, Tino Taake, Justin Seo, Alessandro Pereira, Cambria & Max Melchert. Ryah Arthur, Jay Lutgen, Tanisha Hough, Cassandra Bambridge, Henri & Tata Hermunen, Andrew & Jess Aitken, Deborah & David de Graaf, Giselle Stadler, Hailey Laine Bland

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about

Steve Schallert Cape Town, South Africa

Steve Schallert is an international speaker, activist, musician and avid disciple of the nonviolent Jesus. Having traveled to over 50 countries and witnessing along the way the best and worst that humanity is capable of, Steve seeks to champion and equip people for active peacemaking & works of justice through building compassion for the poor and spurring on imagination. ... more

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Track Name: Ain't Gonna Study War No More
I’m gonna lay my sword and shield
Down by the river side
Down by the river side
Down by the river side

I’m gonna lay my sword and shield
Down by the river side
Down by the river side
Down by the river side
We ain’t gonna study war no more

WE AIN’T GONNA STUDY WAR NO MORE!
Track Name: The Word
The word, the word, the word
There has always been the word
But then the word took on flesh
Like a homeless baby in distress
Jesus walked into the fray
To prove a reconciling way
The word, the word, the living, saving word

My heart, my heart, my heart
Like the sea that once did part
To keep the devils at bay
From left to right it sways
Like a tired ocean wave
Yet all my heart now craves is
The word, the word, the living, saving word

From darkness, to darkness, to darkness, to light
The word because flesh to bring dead things to life

Yet it's a groaning, groaning world
Where even the trees are begging for
A new place to lay their roots
Where wars for oil will not destroy
We know a peace that lasts beyond a day
A hope that's deep enough to stay
The world, the world, the living, saving word

From darkness, to darkness, to darkness, to light
The word because flesh to bring dead things to life

We know a peace that last beyond a day
A hope that's deep enough to stay
The world, the world, the living, saving word
Track Name: Lay Me Down
Lay me down into the ground
I once was lost but never found
I have forgotten my own sound
And in the void of love
I dug myself this hole
And I'm here waiting for a stranger

Oh I've played the wayfaring stranger
Long enough to have tasted all danger
Yet Your grace refuses to waver
As you take my burdens on Thee

Lay me down into the waves
Let your love wash pain away
Heal this sickness in my veins
There is a light which causes death to die
It's a mystery full of wonder

Oh I've played the wayfaring stranger
Long enough to have tasted all danger
Yet Your grace refuses to waver
As you take my burdens on Thee

I pray lay me down
That you might raise me up
Track Name: Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Paul and Silas, bound in jail
Ain't got money left to pay for bail
Keep your eyes on the prize
Hold on, why don’t you hold on

Paul and Silas began to shout
Doors popped open, and they all walked out
Keep your eyes on the prize
Hold on, why don’t you hold on

Ohh... Keep your eyes on the prize
Hold on, why don’t you hold on

Got my hand on the freedom plow
Ain't nobody gonna stop us now
Keep your eyes on the prize
Hold on, why don’t you hold on

Well, the only chains that we can stand
Are the chains of hands in hand
Keep your eyes on the prize
Hold on, why don’t you hold on

Ohh... Keep your eyes on the prize
Hold on, why don’t you hold on
Track Name: Son of Sorrows
Christ's body lay broken
On a table dressed in white
Rebel hands and blood stained sands
Come feel thy savior's fright

Come see the Son of Sorrows
Our hope, strung up and cut down (cut down)

Fairer than the moonlight
Fairer still than autumns rain
Bind us to Your cross of love
A martyrs death attain

Come see the Son of Sorrows
Our hope, strung up and cut down
Come see this worlds suffering
As it is buried, buried in the ground
Let it be buried, buried in the ground

Give us light in the darkest of nights
Give us love in the presents of hate
Give us peace in perpetual war
Let it be buried, buried in the ground
Track Name: A Song of Lamentation
Jesus
God of the poor
Liberator
Friend of the weak

Jesus
Light of the world
These weary bones
Tremble and weep

Heal every heart
Heal every soul
Heal the violence we carry
The blood in the soil

There is blood in the soil!
Track Name: Run, Devil Run
Are you heavy laden?
What lashes does your body bear?
Are your sorrows plenty?
Come lay em down, lay em down, lay em down

There was a man from nowhere
Who spoke power to the poor
He filled their heart's with fire
So they laid him down, laid him down, laid him down

Oh I heard death had died
So run, Devil run
I say fare thee well to Babylon
Oh I have laid my tent
In the New Jerusalem
With it’s promise of love and life

One day the poor will find plenty
As the rich are left aside
For there is a city descending
Where the low shall be lifted high
And the dead shall raise to life

Oh I heard death had died
So run, Devil run
I say fare thee well to Babylon
Oh I have laid my tent
In the New Jerusalem
With it’s promise of love and life (give us life)
Track Name: All Good People of the Earth
Hold on, hold on, hold on it won't last long now
All good people of the earth, stand thy ground and claim thy worth
Stand thy ground and claim thy worth!

And though my knees might shake from the weight of the water
And though the dogs they bark so loud
When the prison door slams we’ll just sing all the louder
Crying peace, Oh we want peace, increase!
Crying peace, Oh we want peace, increase!

Say thy prayers, oh say em one by one
Lay thy body on the gun
For hate will not drive out hate
No only love will storm the gate
And reconcile this mess we make!

And though my knees might shake from the weight of the water
And though the dogs they bark so loud
When the prison door slams we’ll just sing all the louder
Crying peace, Oh we want peace, increase!
Crying peace, Oh we want peace, increase!

Lord let the weak find strength
Let not the workers hands sit idle
Until the poor have hope
And injustice shuts it’s mouth

And though my knees might shake from the weight of the water
And though the dogs they bark so loud
When the prison door slams we’ll just sing all the louder
Crying peace, Oh we want peace, increase!
Crying peace, Oh we want peace, increase!
We're crying
Track Name: He Was Numbered Among the Lawless
Oh the cross I see
Looks more like a lynching tree
Like a suffering humanity
Strung up by its neck, hands and feet
But Jesus is dying upon that tree

Oh the cross I see
Looks plain like this world to me
Some claim that it's fair and free
Like their precious democracy
But Jesus is dying upon that tree

Oh the blood is running down
Upon the weeping wailing ground
With every body that breaks the earth is shakes
You see Jesus is dying upon that tree

The cross I see
Looks like this devil economy
Folks dotting i's and crossing t's
Trampling the poor for prosperity
But Jesus is dying upon that tree

Oh the blood is running down
Upon the weeping wailing ground
With every body that breaks the earth is shakes
You see Jesus is dying upon that tree

Mercy,
Mercy,
Oh my God have mercy on me
Mercy,
Mercy,
Oh my God have mercy on me

For the mothers and their daughters
For the sons who have lost their fathers
For the vagrants and the refugees
For the children who have become commodities
For the homeless seeking daily bread
Begging pocket change needing to be fed
For the immigrant working endless days
Exploited on a promise with no pay raise
For the prisoner locked inside his cell
Counting those days as he rots in hell
For the victims of this wretched war
And for the movement that we’ll just keep marching for
Track Name: Tremble, Tremble
Were you there when they crucified my King?
Were you there when they crucified my King?
Oh Oh Oh
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my King?

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?
Oh Oh Oh
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

Ohh, tremble, tremble.
Ohh, tremble, tremble.
Ohh, tremble, we tremble before you God

Were you there when He rose up from the grave?
Were you there when He rose up from the grave?
Oh Oh Oh
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when He rose up from the grave?
Were you there when He rose up from the grave?
Were you there when He rose up from the grave?
Track Name: Is It All Loss
Is it all loss?
All I see is death down here below
Is it all cracking?
As seeds of doubt begin to grow in fickle hearts
Just toying with waters edge
Afraid of the deep
Unable to push off from the ledge

Yet you are faithful
You are faithful
You are faithful
In all my heartache

Is it all darkness?
Or is there a shred of light still left
In Your silence
I hear this beating in my chest
Come Lord Jesus
Take this old sack of bones
Let em dance dances
Like they have never known

Yet you are faithful
You are faithful
You are faithful
In all my heartache
You are faithful
You are faithful
You are faithful
In all my heartache

Oh my God, heal my heart, heal my soul
Break my legs, yah break my legs, down below
That I might stay, long enough, to behold
Your Glory!

You are faithful
Track Name: In Lumine Tuo Videbimus De Lumen
Jesus son of glory
I have been laid out
Doubt has opened the story
And laid my certainty down

Soften my hardened heart
And weaken my prideful soul
That I might be bold enough to not let go

And when my lungs finally give out
And I must return this body to the earth
I pray your love is strong enough
To raise me up, raise me up, raise me up

I believe in love
I still believe in truth
And no matter how tight this rope might tie
I will not let loose of you

Soften my hardened heart
Weaken my prideful soul
That I might be bold enough to not let go

And when my lungs finally give out
And I must return this body to the earth
I pray your love is strong enough
To raise me up, raise me up, raise me up

Deep in the root of my soul
There is a room where the light still turns on
Where I know that I know that I know
You're gonna raise me up

In Thy light we shall see the light!