Harvest Songs – Where’s all the new material?

I’m playing at church on Sunday. My minister is talking to me about Harvest themed songs, and he hasn’t found much to enjoy from the “modern” worship canon.

Not that there is much really.

Harvest for most Christians is about thanking God for the abundance of creation. Even with all the skill in the world, farmers rely on nature to operate within normal tolerances and for us, that’s in the gift of Almighty God. We like a good knees-up. Anyone who thinks we don’t know how to party has never read about Jesus’ first recorded miracle – the whole water into wine thing. We are encouraged to celebrate, but apparently we must do it with a tragically dated soundtrack.

OK, dated is a bit harsh. For a church which doesn’t sing more than one or two traditional hymns on a Sunday and pulls other songs from more modern sources, it’s a bit of a shock when there’s so little material from which to draw. “Come, Ye thankful people, come” is a great hymn. “We plough the fields and scatter” likewise, although for most kids the imagery isn’t going to mean much. That’s another problem, really.

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We lack the seasonal bounty. Morrisons is always well stocked. Only heavy snow and fuel strikes have ever impeded deliveries.

So how do I engage younger ones with the idea of being grateful for what we have in the right season for it?

Where are the modern worship songs about how good it is that the world God made can be farmed to provide for us all? (and even grows cool stuff without us farming for it – blackberries! Mmm.)

If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Otherwise we risk me writing one again. I’ve been listening to bluegrass on Internet radio at work today, so if I do sit down to write something I can foresee some interesting stylistic conventions.

Potato Harvest by dhwright : http://www.flickr.com/photos/dhwright/273008933/

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4 Responses to Harvest Songs – Where’s all the new material?

  1. Ian southall says:

    Have you seen we plough the fields with tractors from the rank foundation

    • I have now.

      I have a few issues with this song. The life on Mars reference in the third verse is a bit riqué depending on how fundamentalist your congregants are, and in the second verse “drudgery” isn’t the sort of word I’d expect the children or most of the young people to know.

      On the other hand, it’s a spirited attempt to rework something with a modern flavour, and much better than the parody by Betjeman.

  2. revbobuk says:

    Some of the schools material produced by ‘Out of the Ark’ is worth a look – we use Harvest Hymn and Harvest Samba. It’s not from the same musical idiom as most worship material, but it’s well written.

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