Thursday, January 23, 2014

Co-Op Update

This last week at our little Charlotte Mason co-op, we started some fun things. First, we started a new Shakespeare play: The Tempest. I'm looking forward to this one! I like them all, but this is a great story. I think it will be less. . . disturbing than Macbeth. Ha! I told the girls we might need to make our own stop-motion video. I see peg people being involved. They were less excited by this idea than I was. I don't get it.

Our latest hymn is one that was new to me, called "My Anchor Holds," written by William C. Martin and Daniel Turner in 1902. My friend Sara, who is in charge of our hymns, told me it should be in every hymnal and we should all sing it every week, she likes it so well! The meter is a little different from most hymns I'm familiar with, but it's fun to sing, and it's hard not to sing with gusto. It feels like a marching tune. Here's the first verse and chorus:

  1. Though the angry surges roll
    On my tempest-driven soul,
    I am peaceful, for I know,
    Wildly though the winds may blow,
    I’ve an anchor safe and sure,
    That can evermore endure.
    • Refrain:
      And it holds, my anchor holds:
      Blow your wildest, then, O gale,
      On my bark so small and frail;
      By His grace I shall not fail,
      For my anchor holds, my anchor holds.

We're using this video on YouTube to learn it. It's not a professional recording, but the congregation sings really well and you can hear all the parts being sung!

Our most recent folk song is "Green Grow the Rushes O," and we're enjoying that very much, too. It's not "Green Grow the Rashes O" by Robert Burns; lots of people sing that. This is an older song, with unclear origins, and is a counting song, similar to "The Twelve Days of Christmas." The verses have some religious references, and some astrological references, and some things that are simply unclear. Here are the lyrics, starting with twelve, because otherwise it would be REALLY long:

I'll sing you twelve, O, green grow the rushes, O!
What is your twelve, O?
Twelve for the twelve apostles,
Eleven for the eleven who went to heaven,
Ten for the Ten Commandments,
Nine for the nine bright shiners,
Eight for the April raiders,
Seven for the seven stars in the sky,
Six for the six proud walkers,
Five for the symbols at your door,
Four for the gospel makers,
Three, three, the rivals
Two, two, the lily-white boys, clothed all in green-O,
One is one and all alone and ever more shall be so.

Some of the references seem obvious to me. Others of them seem rather strange. I did an internet search, and didn't come up with much definitive information. For example, I found lyrics that said "Eight for the April rainers," which, according to Wikipedia, could refer to the "Hyades star clust, called the 'rainy Hyades' in classica times and rising with the sun in April.' " However, in the video below, they say "April raiders," and that made sense to me, too, because I've read that people used to watch for raiders to visit their shores when the weather improved in the spring. If you know where I might find out more information on the song, I'd love to know! I've checked in my folk song books, but it's not in any of them.

I found this video on YouTube of two gentlemen who seem to be bards performing it with motions and everything. (If you're interested in the bards, check out this website. There are some great songs.) It's a great deal of fun to watch. I'm hoping to convince the kids to learn the motions and perform it at the end of the year. 

I love sharing our music with you. It's probably my favorite part of co-op.

And, one more thing, just for fun. We worked on our dry brush skills last week, and we each made a "splotch book" in our nature journals by blending colors and seeing what effects we created. You can read a bit about that, and see a picture of a splotch book, here. My middle child, Abbie, painted this lovely sunflower for me this morning using dry brush. I'm going to make it into a bookmark.

Isn't it pretty? I love when she paints things. :-)

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1 comment:

  1. We sing "My Anchor Holds" a lot at my church. Love it!