Sacred Harp

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In Cold Mountain, which is a favorite movie of mine, there is a scene fairly early on in which parishioners are singing I’m Going Home in their new-completed church. I had never heard the song before (in spite of years of church-going and being part of severals choirs), and I’d never even seen the style of singing, in which the participants rhythmically moved their open palms up and down to the music.

I always loved the song, however, and I’ve listened to it many times. I decided to explore this a bit deeper recently, and it turns out this style of singing is native to my beloved South, and it’s called Sacred Harp. Here’s one group giving it a whirl:

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