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14. Children, Gather ‘Round

Name Play-Pause-Stop Length
Children, Gather ‘Round
Sari Max

1:00 min

14. Children, Gather ‘Round (2:42)

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Children Gather ‘Round (medley with Jesus Lights the Way)

Music and lyrics by Sari Max

 

Children, gather ‘round and listen

Listen ‘til your ears are burning with the word

Listening with your ears is only a start

Listen in that secret place in your heart

 

Don’t wait for your father or your mother

Don’t wait for your sister or your brother

Give it up to the Holy Spirit, NOW!

 

Chorus:

Jesus said “love” - love one another

Jesus said “love” - love one another

Jesus said “love” - love one another

 

Praise the word “love”

 

Don’t wait for your doctor or your teacher

Don’t even wait for your preacher

Give it up to the Holy Spirit, NOW!

 

Chorus

 

Don’t wait for it to come in the mail

Let Jesus’ word prevail

Give it up to the Holy Spirit, NOW!

 

Chorus

 

I’m gonna live and love and walk and talk and trust and

know Jesus

Jesus lights the way

Track 14

Children Gather ‘Round

 

For several years I was artist-in-residence at a Congregational Church. It was an interesting barter situation. I was given a space to teach my Music & Movement & More with Sari Max workshops and private music lessons (I donated my baby grand piano to the church for use in the gathering space of the parish house). In exchange, I played piano for early Sunday services each week in the summers, sang with the choir and, for special programs such as the Sunday close to Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, worked with the Christian Education staff on music for the Christmas Pageant and Children’s Day, developed and produced an Intergenerational Talent Festival, and developed and worked on several other joyous musical events. Children Gather ‘Round was a song written with the intention of engaging the entire congregation during a service (I added to it the ending from another original song, Jesus Lights the Way, which is not available here). I played piano and sang the introduction myself, and then the young children walked from the back of the meetinghouse to the front, singing and playing percussion instruments. When they arrived, they were joined by the teens that were situated with djembes (large African hand drums), the choir, and finally the congregation, who joyfully joined in by singing along. It was thrilling to hear my original song exuberantly sung and shared like that! I loved the audience participation so much. I recorded it here with Jeff Harris’ rousing arrangement that capitalizes on the rich tenor saxophone of the wonderful Mark Fineberg. Jay Berliner’s guitar on the introduction is very sweet. Jeff referred to the instrumental break as his “tribute to Jimmy Webb”. It’s got great power to move the song along – I love it!

Most important, I find that the lyric puts forth a sense of urgency about connecting to Jesus’ spirit of LOVE. Finding that LOVE in one’s own heart is the crux of it. I may be a nice Jewish girl from Brooklyn but I sure do love Jesus and all the humility, grace, and good works he exemplifies. As he said: “Above all else, Love!”