Star of purity
Music: Sheena Phillips, Words: Anon
Performance time approx: 2m 00s (sung once through)
arranged by Sheena Phillips
for three-part chorus (SAT)
Price code: B
This wonderful soaring hymn was co-written by Ezra T Leggett (words) and Susanna M Brady (tune) of the Union Village Shaker Community in Ohio, in 1868. Harmonised versions of the song were published in several hymnals, and it was very popular. This version mixes stretches of unison singing, which can really bring out the meaning of the words, with a fresh harmonisation.
Other Shaker arrangements published by Canasg include Lay me low, Mother Ann’s song, Simple gifts and Turning shuffle tune.
O brighter than the morning star is the heart that's pure and free.
And the light that's ever glowing there the Star of Purity.
The sun shall wane the stars go down and reign of time be o'er.
But the living light in the heart that's pure shall shine for ever more.
The gems within the ocean deep and the wealth her caverns bear.
Let the ocean and the caverns keep in darkness hidden there.
But O, Almighty Father, send Thine Angels from above
To kindle in my heart a fire of Purity and Love.
Our transcription of the words and tune to the song is taken from Joy of Angels: Shaker spirituals for Christmas and the New Year, compiled by Mitzie Collins and Colleen Liggett (Sampler Records Ltd, Rochester, New York) and used with permission. See www.doverpublications.com on the web.