34 episodes

Singing is proven to be good for our health. Patricia chooses songs that support us as we heal, adapt, and grow -- and after a brief teach, sings it with the listener. Periodically, a longer episode includes a conversation with the songwriter. Visit abreathofsong.com to learn more.

A Breath of Song Patricia Norton

    • Health & Fitness
    • 5.0 • 14 Ratings

Singing is proven to be good for our health. Patricia chooses songs that support us as we heal, adapt, and grow -- and after a brief teach, sings it with the listener. Periodically, a longer episode includes a conversation with the songwriter. Visit abreathofsong.com to learn more.

    33. There Is A Love

    33. There Is A Love

    Notes: What does it take to allow you to fall to rest, deeply & completely? Rest is such a necessary component of healing, and sometimes can be tricky to come by -- unless I'm the only one awake at 2 in the morning sometimes, with my head spinning fruitless circles? Feeling completely safe -- completely loved -- is one of the things that lets me rest, slows the adrenalin responses, and lets my body and mind heal. This song does that for me... whew!!! The composer, Elizabeth Norton, points out: "Please note that there is no "you" verse. This is because Rev. Dr. Parker was very clear that this is a widening circle of Love and compassion that embraces all." We are each at the center of this song.


    Visit abreathofsong.com for lyrics, more of Patty's artwork, and a way to nominate songs or songwriters for the podcast.



    Sign up for the A Breath of Song mailing list (the little form on the home page; you might have to scroll down a bit) to receive a heads up as a new episode is released, plus a large version of the artwork, brief thoughts from my slightly peculiar brain... and occasional extras when they seem vitally important! No junk -- I will never sell your address. I read out all your names into my living room when I send new mailings... I appreciate the connection to you who are listening and singing these songs with me.

    Songwriter Info: A life-long church musician, Elizabeth (Beth) Norton has served First Parish in Concord, Massachusetts as Director of Music Ministry since 1994, leading a dynamic adult choir and guiding a vital and varied music ministry for singers and instrumentalists of all ages and stages. She has led UU singers on concert pilgrimages to Eastern Europe, building musical bridges with Unitarian churches in Transylvania (Romania), Hungary and the Czech Republic. Beth received her bachelor’s degree with a major in music from Smith College and a master’s degree in choral conducting from Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford. As a composer, she has written several songs, chants and choral anthems that are currently available by contacting EHNComposer@gmail.com. Beth says she had the great wisdom to marry into the Norton family in 1986. Her husband, Peter, is Tom Norton’s brother. Thus, she has the great good fortune (again, her own words!) to claim Patricia Norton as her sister-in-law and friend! Beth and Peter have two adult sons, who live in southern Vermont and near Boston Massachusetts. Beth and her family share a love of music, hiking, skiing, and birding. She usually has a knitting project on hand.

    Links:
    The score can be accessed through the UUA "Worship Web" here: https://www.uua.org/worship/words/music/there-love
    Hear a roomful of people singing There Is A Love (and catch a glimpse of Beth!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlY7Yf-l8rU

    Nuts & Bolts: 3:4, major, round

    • 16 min
    32. Seed Song

    32. Seed Song

    Notes: A song with two voices, in a way -- the cry of the heart which feels swallowed by darkness and lost, and the response or presence of a wisdom -- an angel, or ancestor, or Yoda?! -- who sees the seed inside the darkness that holds the dream of green during the waiting time.  I love the way this song lets me give voice to different experiences. Barbara has given us an extremely satisfying lift on the "call to the sky" line... and a lovely low rumble for "cannot remember", and "to the night." In western classical baroque times, that was called word painting... a wonderful way of yoking different parts of our brains into a whole, connected intent.

    Sign up for the A Breath of Song mailing list (the little form on the home page; you might have to scroll down a bit) to receive a heads up as a new episode is released, plus a large version of the artwork, brief thoughts from my slightly peculiar brain... and occasional extras when they seem vitally important! No junk -- I will never sell your address. I read out all your names into my living room when I send new mailings... I appreciate the connection to you who are listening and singing these songs with me.

    Songwriter Info: Barbara McAfee is a master voice coach, singer/songwriter, song leader, and river walker who lives an hour outside of Minneapolis/St. Paul in St Croix Falls, Wisconsin.

    Links:
    Barbara's website is at www.barbaramcafee.com
    Barbara's Tedx talk on the Full Voice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze763kgrWGg

    Nuts & Bolts: 4:4, minor, 3 layers, 2 with the same words.

    • 15 min
    31. Voices Rising

    31. Voices Rising

    Notes: Lisa wrote this song in a beautifully flexible way, so we can each adapt it to what we need to be singing in the moment... in the podcast, I only sing "All our voices are rising up...", but you can insert your own word for the kind of voices rising up inside you. In the community singing world, songs like this are called "zipper songs", and they can be a beautiful practice of awareness -- as you sing, over and over, other words might appear in your head -- and some of them may surprise you, or make you laugh, or touch you tenderly. 

    Sign up for the A Breath of Song mailing list (the little form on the home page; you might have to scroll down a bit) to receive a heads up as a new episode is released, plus a large version of the artwork, brief thoughts from my slightly peculiar brain... and occasional extras when they seem vitally important! No junk -- I will never sell your address. I read out all your names into my living room when I send new mailings... I appreciate the connection to you who are listening and singing these songs with me.

    Songwriter Info: Oxford, U.K.-based singer-songwriter Lisa Doscher believes in the power of the voice to reconnect us, to ourselves and to each other. Her songs open up a portal for listeners to go within, while at the same time resensitizing to the world through beautiful harmonies and life-affirming lyrics. Her new album, ‘Tuning In: Songs to Reconnect and Recharge’ is a retreat from the stresses of daily life, designed to activate our creative energy and help us realign with our unique purpose. There are songs to soothe, uplift and restore balance. For those interested in going deeper, Lisa is offering a ‘Tuning In’ Women’s Group starting February 1st, 2022, with monthly live sessions, weekly meditations and support for going within to activate your voice and creative process. Lisa also offers individual voice and healing sessions.

    Links:
    All the info, places to buy/listen:
    https://lisadoscher.com

    Or go directly to buy/stream on Bandcamp: https://lisadoscher.bandcamp.com/
    It includes a beautifully designed booklet with the intentions behind the songs and ways to use them in your daily life.

    Find Lisa on Facebook or Instagram as @lisadoschermusic

    You can also hear Lisa singing Voices Rising on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjDQDDf_MU4

    Nuts & Bolts: 4:4, Ionian (Major), melody with harmonized interlocking part; zipper potential

    • 15 min
    30. Labor On with guest Lissa Schneckenburger

    30. Labor On with guest Lissa Schneckenburger

    Notes: Lissa Schneckenburger's song has a personal back story that we get into during the conversation part of the episode -- along with discussion of change-making as integral to music-making, the similarities and differences of violin and voice as instruments, why Lissa chose songs with words for her recent solo album... Lissa spills over with ideas, generosity, connections, and a deeply caring heart -- our time together was a treat for me. This song feels particularly appropriate at this turn of the year, when we are tired of COVID and injustice and it is easy to be fearful... "we are rising, we are shining, we have the power"... "we will not let this be the end". Something a little different on this episode -- after she invited us to join, I included myself singing with Lissa and experimenting (sometimes more successfully than others) with harmonies... my hope is that that encourages you, too, to explore. Brendan Taaffe says you're only ever one note away from a great harmony! If you want to hear the song already beautifully harmonized and sing along with a polished version after you've learned it on the podcast, check out the links below for Low Lily's video.


    Visit abreathofsong.com for lyrics, more of Patty's artwork, and a way to nominate songs or songwriters for the podcast.


    Sign up for the A Breath of Song mailing list (the little form on the home page; you might have to scroll down a bit) to receive a heads up as a new episode is released, plus a large version of the artwork, brief thoughts from my slightly peculiar brain... and occasional extras when they seem vitally important! No junk -- I will never sell your address. I read out all your names into my living room when I send new mailings... I appreciate the connection to you who are listening and singing these songs with me.


    Songwriter Info: Lissa Schneckenburger is a fiddle player and singer whose roots are in folk music in Maine. She lives in Brattleboro, Vermont, now, and says, “To me, music creates community. Music is what people sing along to, dance to, fall in love to… music brings people together." Giving concerts on her own or as part of the trio, Low Lily, as well as supporting other musicians with practice challenges (and jokes) through her website, Lissa consistently does her part to build community. Her solo album, Thunder In My Arms, is a tender, powerful collection of songs about attachment, parenting, and trauma. We talk about its origin and development in this episode's conversation.


    Links:
    Lissa's website: lissafiddle.com
    Low Lily's music video of Labor On: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2XtOspP1Jc
    Peter Mulvey (bike tours and music!) https://www.petermulvey.com/
    The Road North by Alasdair Fraser and Paul MacHlis -- one of Lissa's influential albums
    Moosewood borscht recipe by Mollie Katzen -- the link goes to a blogpost with the recipe, or buy the whole cookbook at your local bookstore -- a 40th anniversary edition was released and is still in print.
    Kafari on kafarimusic.bandcamp.com/ -- a Black, Portland, Maine-based artist Lissa wishes more people knew about... piano and percussion music.
    Duet with Lissa on TikTok here: https://www.tiktok.com/@lissafiddle?


    Nuts & Bolts: 6:8, Aeolian, verses & chorus

    • 59 min
    29. Hope Lingers On

    29. Hope Lingers On

    Notes: "Hope lingers on"... I love singing this to myself as a reminder that a pandemic is not the only thing lingering around. There are so many beautiful recordings of this piece online, I encourage you, like always, to use this podcast as a way to learn the song, and then if it speaks to you, follow the links and sing along with gorgeous professional recordings! Sometimes, honestly, it makes me uncomfortable to put my voice with loops out there when there are such polished renditions available (that sound better!) -- but then I remind myself that I'm not here performing for you... I'm here sharing a song that makes a difference to me when I sing it to myself -- and maybe it will do that for you, too? Planting songs for wellness...   
      Next week I'm hugely excited to share a songwriter conversation with the composer of this song, Lissa Schneckenburger. We talk about some of the differences between voice and violin as instruments, music as a way of distilling learning and helping heal from trauma, how not to lose heart as a change-maker, touring on a bicycle and more.




    Visit abreathofsong.com for lyrics, more of Patty's artwork, and a way to nominate songs or songwriters for the podcast.


    Sign up for the A Breath of Song mailing list (the little form is on the home page; you might have to scroll down a bit) to receive a heads up as a new episode is released, plus a large version of the artwork, brief thoughts from my slightly peculiar brain... and occasional extras when they seem vitally important! No junk -- I will never sell your address. I read out all your names into my living room when I send new mailings... I appreciate the connection to you who are listening and singing these songs with me.



    Songwriter Info: Lissa Schneckenburger is a fiddle player and singer whose roots are in folk music in Maine. She lives in Brattleboro, Vermont, now, and says, “To me, music creates community. Music is what people sing along to, dance to, fall in love to… music brings people together." Giving concerts on her own or as part of the trio, Low Lily, as well as supporting other musicians with practice challenges (and jokes) through her website, Lissa consistently does her part to build community. Her solo album, Thunder In My Arms, is a tender, powerful collection of songs about attachment, parenting, and trauma. We talk about its origin and development in the next episode's conversation.

    Links:
    Lissa's website: lissafiddle.com
    Low Lily's recording of Hope Lingers On: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lv9R60CSQ54
    The totebag with the chorus lyrics: https://lissafiddle.com/store/hope-lingers-on-tote-bag/
    Learn more about Thunder in My Arms :  https://lissafiddle.com/store/thunder-in-my-arms/
    Vancouver Youth Choir singing Hope Lingers On:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0bmhcvPwTI
    A combination of a college and middle school choir made one of the infamous virtual choir videos of Hope Lingers On
       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=506zikTDSMs

    Nuts & Bolts: 4:4, Ionian, 3 verses & harmonized chorus

    • 14 min
    28. Drifting Dark

    28. Drifting Dark

    Notes: This song began to appear Sunday morning, December 4th, as I was making breakfast, thinking about snowy drives through our town, looking at Christmas lights. It was one of those warmish, wet days with snow on the ground, so there was a mist lifting up from the snow, and the sky was the same color as the fields. December is a complicated month for me, with rich memories of so much happiness as a child, and difficult loss as an adult...  the longing to connect with and create happiness for all whom I love -- the rueful recognition that I can't "make" anyone happy. Thinking of all the stories in December about light in dark, fraught journeys, seeds, births, miracles -- all the hope and determination we try to share with each other in lights and decorations and candles. For me, the song is a good companion to the bittersweet, reflective mood I often find myself in in December.


    Visit abreathofsong.com for lyrics, more of Patty's artwork, and a way to nominate songs or songwriters for the podcast.

    Sign up for the A Breath of Song mailing list (the little form on the home page; you might have to scroll down a bit) to receive a heads up as a new episode is released, plus a large version of the artwork, brief thoughts from my slightly peculiar brain... and occasional extras when they seem vitally important! No junk -- I will never sell your address. I read out all your names into my living room when I send new mailings... I appreciate the connection to you who are listening and singing these songs with me.

    Songwriter Info: Patricia is the fourth of five siblings, with eight years from oldest to youngest. Growing up in Boulder, Colorado, and western New York State, a snowy Christmas was virtually guaranteed, and the house was filled with beautiful traditions, from a fat Christmas tree we would go cut at a local farm decorated with white paper doves, tinsel, red balls, and lights, to much gift planning, making & secret, careful wrapping. Christmas cookies left out for Santa, waking up to go to midnight mass, the Westminster Choir College singing Britten's Ceremony of Carols on the turntable, holiday songs on the radio and the whole family watched whatever holiday specials were on tv. A special meal with tablecloth and candles on the table, sledding and snow forts and tunnels, plastic bread bags in the boots and over the mittens to try to keep us warm and dry... my childhood memories are of magical, generous, happy Christmases with music everywhere.
    ​  Of course, the world appeared more complex and nuanced as I grew, and the loss of loved ones I wanted to celebrate with, ugly commercialism, knowledge of economic disparity and the dark history and abuses of religious belief also became part of December.... and, as a church musician, holiday performance pressure -- the collision of expectations and what actually happens. This song is one of the ways I can be present with the whole catastrophe, as Jon Kabat-Zinn might say.

    Nuts & Bolts: 6:8, Aeolian, unison with harmonized accompanying line

    • 15 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

Big fan from Hanover ,

Breath of Song, episode 13

i look forward to each new episode every wednesday. this was is particularly uplifting. i love the rhythm, which makes me want to dance too. Breath of Song, episode 17 each week gets better and better. maybe that’s because I do too❤️

Episode 32 The Seed Song touches my heart. it is so lush and lovely to sing. one of my favorites so far.❤️❤️

Flowerpunk ,

Honoring the blessings of song

Herein I find play, power and an exquisite honoring of the blessings of the songs shared in these sparkling episodes. Yes!

Beebalmmusic ,

Like a refreshing dip into a pool of song & breath

There are gems to be found in each episode! The language, the invitation, the inspiration. Breathe it in!

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