Apr 25, 2011

Two More Songs for Holy Humor Sunday

Here are two more contemporary hymn texts for Laughter Sunday (May 1, 2011).  If your congregation has purchased a CCLI, OneLicense or LicenSing copyright license, you may legally use these texts in worship.

The first text was written by Shirley Erena Murray, a hymnist from New Zealand.  (See below for tune suggestions.)

Sing a happy alleluia,
sing it out with heart and style—
we’re the echo of God’s laughter,
we’re the image of God’s smile.

Refrain: Alleluia, all creation, alleluia, everyone!
                Alleluia, all creation, alleluia, everyone!

We’re the proof of God’s good humor,
we’re the twinkle in God’s eye,
made to shine, reflect the glory,
given light an dspace to fly.


Sarah laughed at God’s good timing,
Mary sang and David danced,
Jesus smiled and hugged the children—
so is life for us enhanced.


Every day sing alleluia!
We are loved, though so absurd,
human, foolish, chosen people,
God still takes us at our word!


—Shirley Erena Murray
Words © 1992 Hope Publishing Company

Ideas for tunes:  Hal Hopson has written a new tune called COOPER for this text.  You can see a PDF of it on Hope Publishing’s wonderful Online Hymnody site.  (Just search for "Sing a Happy Alleluia," and then scroll down to the bottom of the text and click on the PDF link.)

If your congregation tends to balk at learning new tunes, perhaps you can find a tune that’s more familiar.  It would probably be best to look for a tune with an meter (and then just sing the first line of the repeated text in the refrain).

The tune NEANDER (aka UNSER HERRSCHER)—often sung to “Open now the gates of beauty”—would work, but you’ll want to keep the tempo and energy up!

Another option might be to look for an tune—perhaps something like the American tune RESTORATION (aka ARISE, and often sung to “Come, ye sinners, poor and needy”)—again, done in an up-tempo fashion.  You could either sing the refrain after each stanza or just once at the end of the song.

If you’ve got other tune ideas, I’d love to hear about them.  Leave a comment below.

The second contemporary hymn text was written by American hymnist, Dan Damon

Laughter lends itself to praise
bringing healing from within;
hope will surely rise again
as laughter lends itself to praise.

Laughter bends where laws may break;
rigid fact can not contain
half the wisdom of God's reign,
so laughter bends where laws may break.

Laughter leaps into the void
finding only Spirit there;
shame and fear would never dare
so laughter leaps into the void.

Laughter comes in spite of pain
dancing even as we mourn;
something dies but something's born
for laughter comes in spite of pain.

Laughter lends itself to praise;
all the love and all the fear,
all the signs that God is near
say laughter lends itself to praise.

—Daniel Charles Damon
Words © 1993 Hope Publishing Company
From his collection, Faith Will Sing

Ideas for tunes:  The text is written in an unusual meter (, so it might be a bit tricky to find a familiar tune for it. But you can download a PDF of the song set to a new tune Damon wrote for it, called FOSSGREEN.  (Just search for "Laughter Lends Itself to Praise," and then scroll to the bottom of the text and click on the PDF link.)

ORIENTUS PARTIBUS would work, too.  It’s sometimes used for the text, “There’s a Spirit in the Air.”

If you’ve got other ideas for a tune that might work well with this text, leave a comment!