Saturday was the annual BASH (Bay Area Sacred Harp) all-day singing, this year at a Lutheran Church in Alameda (with an assembly hall that has a fine wooden ceiling, making for ringing acoustics). Part of the routine for “conventions” like this is a “memorial lesson”, during which someone lists singers who are sick or in distress and people who have died in the past year who were special in some way to a singer at the convention, and then we sing for them. The song for remembering the dead was 330b in the 1991 Denson Revision of The Sacred Harp, Fellowship, with a very familiar text (“Blest be the tie that binds”), excellent as a memorial song, but with a tune that was completely unfamiliar to me.
I realized too late that I should have added a name to the memorial list, but then used our regular Palo Alto singing yesterday to dedicate a song, and picked Fellowship because I had liked it so much at the BASH singing. As it turned out, another singer in the Palo Alto group picked it to lead, for reasons much like mine (but without the memorial function). So we all got to learn a “new” song (the words are 18th century, the tune mid-20th century).