By Kathryn Eastburn
A few have known as Sacred Harp making a song America’s earliest track. This robust nondenominational spiritual 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 kingdom and introduces readers to the curious glories of a practice that's practiced this present day simply because it used to be 2 hundred years ago. Each of the book’s chapters visits a special area and contours recipes from the accompanying culinary tradition—dinner at the floor, a hearty noontime dinner party. From oven-cooked pulled red meat fish fry to buck shop cornbread dressing to crimson 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 pictures of singers, and celebrated within the points of interest, sounds, smells, and tastes of all-day making a song and dinner at the floor echoing via generations and centuries. (20080410)
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Additional info for A Sacred Feast: Reflections on Sacred Harp Singing and Dinner on the Ground (At Table)
Sacred Harp had hit the big time. bir ming ham 27 According to Buell Cobb’s book, there was good evidence that shape-note singing was alive during the Civil War years dramatized in Cold Mountain. A letter from a young Confederate officer, quoted in his book, reads, There are some boys here that start playing cards and gambling as soon as they draw their money and in two days they haven’t got a cent. I have been in the war for two years and I do not know one card from another, but I do know my notes and we have some of the best singing schools around the camp fire I have ever heard.
Part of that history, of course, is the long line of singers who have gone before, including those who have left just recently. Paul Wyatt of Minnesota stood to honor the sick and shut-in who might otherwise have been at the singing. ” Number 68 at the bottom of the page was sung in their honor: Come, Holy Spirit, come With energy divine And on this poor benighted soul With beams of mercy shine. Another feast was promptly served, as if from the air, and the second afternoon of the convention seemed to fly, each song progressing more rapidly than the one before.
Reprinted with permission of Uel Freeman. v v v Ruth Freeman’s Turnips and Greens 2 lbs. turnip greens 3 medium turnips, peeled and sliced 1 tsp sugar or ¼ tsp. grain saccharin or other artificial sweetener ¼ lb. salt pork ¼ tsp. salt Wash turnip greens thoroughly; drain. Tear into bite-sized pieces. Combine greens and salt pork in a Dutch oven. 36 bir ming ham Add about 3 or 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Stir in turnips, sugar or saccharin, and salt.
A Sacred Feast: Reflections on Sacred Harp Singing and Dinner on the Ground (At Table) by Kathryn Eastburn