phillip phillipsI have a song in my head.  The best ear-worm I’ve had in a long time. It was firmly planted there a week ago. I recently attended the Unitarian Universalist Ministers’ Association‘s Institute for Excellence in Ministry, which is a week-long learning and worship explosion of goodness for ministers.  The Opening Worship featured a melody I knew within the first couple of bars and I was both delighted and in a state of disbelief.  The song was Home by Phillip Phillips.

The choir started singing and as people recognized the song, we leapt to our feet.  Before long we became a mystical, musical mass bouncing to the beat. The song is easy to catch on to.  Those in the congregation who did not know the song before now picked it up quickly and belted out the lyrics.  When the line “just know you’re not alone” came along I watched as people reached out to touch each other, hug each other.  A year ago when I first heard the song, I just knew this could be an anthem for our religious communities.

Where did this song come from? Phillip Phillips was the winner of the 11th season of American Idol.  I am not ashamed to say that I voted for him.  Every week. Now, for those of you who are shocked and find it unbecoming that your growth strategist is using this space to talk about a kitschy television show, I will point out that even kitschy America is part of the Beyond in Congregations & Beyond. And sometimes it’s the Beyond that fills us with grace and inspiration, not the other way around.  I look for soul-filled, authenticity in the Beyond, and I hug it to myself like a flotation device. Look for it. Bring that kind of Beyond into your Congregation.

And so I commend this song to you. Sing it in your congregations.  Sing it brightly (as per the musical instructions) and sing it loudly.  Sing it as a prayer of gratitude and a plea to the Universe.

by Phillip Phillips

 

Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

 

Download the sheet music to Home here.   More contemporary worship music can be found through internet searches.  The Unitarian Universalist Musician’s Network has their own database of composers and I encourage you to also check them out!

________________________

Tandi Rogers is the Unitarian Universalist Growth Strategist and is anxiously anticipating the top ten of this year’s American Idol. And she wishes that Jason Shelton would audition.

 

 

About the Author
Tandi Rogers
  • http://http.politywonk.wordpress.com Elz Curtiss

    Let me be the first to ask about copyright restrictions, so the young man can be appropriately paid.

    • Tandi Rogers

      Thank you for bringing that up, Elz. One pays for the sheet music, and the young artist does get paid. The video we posted is from his website and in the public domain. I also gave him/ “his people” a courtesy heads up that I was highlighting his work in the form of a thank you note. For more information on copyright: https://www.uua.org/worship/143066.shtml
      In faith, Tandi

  • Cyndi Simpson

    I played this song for our Water Communion/Homecoming last fall. I don’t have a TV and had not watched American Idol….so was not familiar with the song or the artist. Found it by searching MP3 files related to “home.” It was perfect!

  • Carol Graywing

    I too love this song and rooted for this young man on Idol. Enjoyed hearing the chorus a lot during the Olympics. Just a note as a singer and poet: the lyric is “I’m gonna”, not I’m going to, that is, it’s 3 syllables, not 4. That’s how Phillips sings it and it definitely scans better than”I’m going to”. Thanks for your enthusiasm. I love it when a congregation/convocation breaks into spontaneous singing. Happened in the early 80′s at a UU Women’s Conference/Retreat when we were gathering into the sanctuary and someone was playing a medley of songs by women. When she started to play Spirit of Life by Carolyn McDade, the crowd just started singing along and we did several rounds. Gives me chills…

  • http://www.uuplanet.org Peter Bowden

    I voted for him too! And watching television in the “pop culture” domain is a part of my professional development. Important to know the stories and legends people are growing up with today… Note, I also have been watching Downton Abbey as prescribed by my wife, the Rev. Amy Freedman, who noted the show was very big among UU clergy on Facebook. ;-)