I was curious what songs we've done for our secular solstices in Boston, and wanted to put them together for thinking about what to do in the future. I've sorted these in roughly descending order of how often I think we should do probably them in the future. This is a combination of:

  • How well does it work for group singing? Is it something you can pick up when hearing for the first time, or instead something widely known? Do the lyrics flow, is the melody interesting, does it have a good rhythm?

  • How well does it fit with general secular solstice themes? How often do I expect it to fit with the particular theme we use in a year? Do I endorse its general message?

For example, "Somebody Will" is musically very interesting, almost always pretty on theme, covers an important aspect of cooperation, but then loses a ton of points for how the melody is super tricky. "Christmas in the Trenches" is musically beautiful, very moving, and intensely sad, but while it has strong themes of international humanity that's not enough to make it be on theme most years. "Brighter than Today" is the one song all the Ray-derived secular solstices do every year, so we should definitely keep doing that.

Song 2013 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2022
Brighter Than Today x x x x x x x 7
Old Devil Time x x x x 4
Level Up x 1
Hymn of Breaking Strain x x x x x 5
The Circle x 1
Unison in Harmony x 1
Lean On Me x x x 3
Uplift x x x x x x 6
Somebody Will x x x 3
The X Days of X-Risk x x x 3
We Will All Go Together When We Go x x x 3
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life x x 2
God Wrote the World x 1
Here and Now x 1
The Ballad of Smallpox Gone x x 2
What a Wonderful World x x 2
Sinner Man (with thematic lyrics) x x 2
Chasing Patterns x x x 3
Her Mysteries x x x 3
No One Is Alone x x 2
Why Does the Sun Shine? x x x x 2
Bitter Wind Blown x 1
Jewel in the Night x x 2
Still Alive x 1
Move the World x x 2
Christmas in the Trenches x 1
I Love the World x 1
Legends x 1
The Wild West is Where I Want to Be x 1
With a Little Help from My Friends x 1
Gonna Be a Cyborg x 1
Garden Song x 1
Mal's Song x x 2
Mindspace Is Deep and Wide x 1
Imagine x x 2
Five Thousand Years x x 2
One Wish x 1
Scarborough Fair x 1
Snoopy's Christmas x 1
Joy to the World (Three Dog Night) x 1
The Drummer's Little Boy x 1
The Pantheon (Ain't Gonna Catch You) x 1
When I Die x 1
Find My Tribe x 1
Hero's Song x 1
Necronomicon x 1
We Wish You a Scary Solstice x 1
Demon Sultan Azathoth x 1
total 16 15 16 14 11 10 10

If this is something you find interesting, and you'd like to help out in choosing music and/or leading singing at future ones, let me know!

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