A Sacred Feast: Reflections on Sacred Harp Singing and by Kathryn Eastburn

By Kathryn Eastburn

A few have known as Sacred Harp making a song America’s earliest song. This strong nondenominational non secular making a song, a part of a deeply held Southern tradition, has unfold through the state over the last centuries. In A Sacred banquet, Kathryn Eastburn trips into the neighborhood of Sacred Harp singers around the nation and introduces readers to the curious glories of a convention that's practiced at the present time simply because it was once 2 hundred years ago. Each of the book’s chapters visits a distinct zone and contours recipes from the accompanying culinary tradition—dinner at the floor, a hearty noontime dinner party. From oven-cooked pulled beef fish fry to greenback shop cornbread dressing to purple velvet cake, those recipes inform a narrative of nourishing the physique, the soul, and the voice. The Sacred Harp’s deeply relocating sound and spirit resonate via those pages, captured at conventions in Alabama, Kentucky, Texas, Colorado, and Washington, conveyed in pix of singers, and celebrated within the points of interest, sounds, smells, and tastes of all-day making a song and dinner at the flooring echoing via generations and centuries. (20080410)

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Extra resources for A Sacred Feast: Reflections on Sacred Harp Singing and Dinner on the Ground (At Table)

Sample text

Some of the singers who attended the Academy Awards are here, largely unaffected by their time in the limelight. They’ve got their books under their arms and are ready to sing just like everybody else. I move through the throng and find myself smashed against a trim, silver-haired man with a British accent. I shake hands with David Richardson of Warwick, United Kingdom, a veteran of this convention. Richardson says he heard about the songbook, The Sacred Harp, in 1990 and wrote Hugh McGraw of Bremen, Georgia, an officer of the Sacred Harp Publishing Company, asking how he could get one.

The definitive text, most singers agreed, was Buell Cobb’s The Sacred Harp: A Tradition and Its Music, a scholarly book that doesn’t shy away from weaving in ample amounts of respect and affection. Cobb, the perennial chairman of the national convention, is a soft-spoken Georgia gentleman, and Alabama native who has loved — and long feared the demise of — traditional Sacred Harp singing, always bringing its true roots to the forefront of the national and international crowd of singers who gather in Birmingham each June.

Beverly Owen Coates, seconded by her brother Tom Owen 18 so ut hw e st t exas v v v Beverly’s Egg Custard Pie 6 eggs, beaten 2 cups sugar 2 tbsp. flour 1 pint half-and-half or milk (I use 1% milk) 1 tsp. vanilla extract Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients and divide mixture evenly and pour into 2 9-inch pie shells. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Reduce heat to 325 when putting pies in oven. Cook about 40 minutes or until firm. May be cooked and frozen up to a month in advance. Beverly Owen Coates v v v Beverly’s Pecan Pie 3 eggs, beaten 1 cup white Karo syrup ¾ cup sugar 1 cup chopped pecans 1 tsp.

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