To Sing With You Is Home


To Sing With You Is Home

1. To sing with you is home to me
A compass at the close of day
to guide my soul in deeper ways
as o’er the years I roam
To sing with you is home.

2. To sing with you is home to me
A throng of friends together breathe
We set the ancient spirits free
And drink the blended tone
To sing with you is home

3. To sing with you is home to me
I’m back upon my mother’s knee
While she piano plays for me
Her voice my lifelong throne
To sing with you is home

4. To sing with you is home to me
Beneath the sky all black and bright
We join the loud and holy night
of galaxies unknown
To sing with you is home.

Words and music by Bret Hesla.
© 2007 Bret Hesla. All rights reserved. Use with permission, please.
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I wrote this during a flurry of singing parties at our house, a time when our group  Minnesota Community Sings was also leading a lot of community sings in the parks around Minneapolis. It all got me thinking about singing together, and how central it is and has been to my own life. Growing up in a singing family. Singing together in the various Lutheran churches through my youth. Singing together at summer camps. Singing in choirs. Singing singing singing. Always with others.  And by the way, this song works great as a closing song for pretty much any gathering.

On another note, I got to lead this song at the wedding of my nephew Paul and niece-in-law Marie. I led the whole group in singing during the ceremony. Paul and Marie are both super interwoven into all sorts of singing circles themselves, so all of us there in that church sanctuary singing this for and with the bride and groom — the surround sound of community — was super moving. It was one of those situations where you gotta be careful, if you make too much eye contact with any one person, tears start coming out of your eyes. Which is of course fine, but it complicates the singing a little.
And now, several years later, Paul and Marie have made this beautiful living room recording of the song, and included it as part of a virtual concert that Paul’s group Cantus did last spring in the early days of the pandemic.  

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