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February 26, 2007 | 3 Comments

Post to the Host:
In June my town (I live in Germany) is hosting a church choir festival. Choirs are encouraged to perform selections which reflect "the lighter side of Christianity." Do you know of any songs that would fill the bill? We're a small choir, by the way, but enthusiastic.

And as long as I'm writing, I'd like to say how much I enjoyed the Dakotadome show you did last year. Maybe it's just because I'm from South Dakota and a USD graduate, but I thought the way you and your crew used those instruments to connect Bach and Custer and Laura Ingalls Wilder and Johnny Cash was truly meisterhaft. Thanks!

Rebecca H.
St. Ingbert, Germany

The show in South Dakota was the bright idea of Mr. Al Neuharth, an alumnus of USD and an old newspaperman, so he gets half the credit and the other half goes to the music museum in Vermillion which has a fabulous collection of old instruments.

As for your choir, I recommend that you look into the repertoire of African-American spirituals. When I lived in Denmark, I heard a lot of Danish choirs do those with real joy and grace. Of course you had to get used to the idea of seeing blonde-blue-eyed people singing, "Way down in Egypt land, let my people go" and sometimes they tried too hard to give the music a backbeat, but it was lighter than the German chorale. If by "light" you mean humorous, I don't know — maybe "Vatican Rag" by Tom Lehrer.


Here are a couple of song suggestions, I hope suitably light. How about, for instance, "Drop-kick Me Jesus Through the Goalposts of Life"? I don't know the author, but doubtless someone out there does. Or, perhaps, "I Want to Be a Jesus Cowboy in the Holy Ghost Corral".

Go to St. James Music Press and click on their humor category. You will find there the following pieces for choir:

"The Weasel Cantata"
The ONLY anthem on the Dietary Laws of Leviticus

"First Timothy" for male chorus
1 Timothy 2:11 - Let your women keep silence in church!

I also recommend chekcing out Ship of Fools the web site.

I recommend you look into St. James Music Press ( They publish serious choral stuff, but also have two free pieces that are just for fun, to wit:

The Weasel Cantata
The ONLY anthem on the Dietary Laws of Leviticus

First Timothy
1 Timothy 2:11 - Let your women keep silence in church!

These are free downloads.

Good luck with your choral festival.

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