Our Music: Debate on a Hymn

by Susanne Maziarz, Music Director at Neighbourhood

For this month of Hope, our hymn of the month will be the African-American spiritual, #95 – There is More Love Somewhere.

The lyrics are:
There is more love somewhere. (2x)
I’m gonna keep on, ‘til I find it.
There is more love somewhere.

The word “love” is replaced by “hope”, and “joy”, and “peace” in subsequent verses.

In previous years, I’ve had members of the congregation tell me that they are not comfortable with singing these lyrics and prefer There is more love right here. I have been uncomfortable with this change and am beginning now to understand why.

Longing and yearning affirm hope: even though they have not yet been attained, there is still hope. This song is a lament, a prayer for our world and for ourselves. This song does not tell us to sit and wallow, or to find ways to cope. It is a call to act on our hope for a better world, to address our own aching desire and to act. I’m gonna keep on, ‘til I find it. Let me know how singing this hymn this month affects you: does it bring you hope?