Shape Note!

by Bootleg Doc

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This is an evolving album of guitar and banjo arrangements of traditional shape note tunes, many of which are from the new shape note book, The Shenandoah Harmony (

ShH: The Shenandoah Harmony
SH: The Sacred Harp

All proceeds from this album (and indeed anywhere else on this site) will be donated to the Kay Lasante clinic outside Port au Prince, Haiti. The clinic is Haitian-run but was set up by the same folks who founded the House of Grace Catholic Worker free clinic in Kensington, Philadelphia-- a clinic I hold dear and one that has been more than formative in my medical education. Learn more about the clinic at (


released June 30, 2013



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Bootleg Doc Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Track Name: SH 162: Plenary (Auld Lang Syne)
Hark! from the tombs of doleful sound,
Mine ears, attend the cry,
Ye living men, come view the ground,
Where you must shortly lie.

“Princes, this clay must be your bed,
In spite of all your tow’rs;
The tall, the wise, the rev’rend head,
Must lie as low as ours.”

Great God! Is this our certain doom?
And are we still secure?
Still walking downward to the tomb,
And yet prepared no more!
Track Name: ShH 408t: Bennington
Shepherds, rejoice, lift up your eyes, And send your fears away
News from the regions of the skies, Salvation's born today.

No gold, nor purple swaddling bands, Nor royal shining things;
A manger for his cradle stands, And holds the King of kings.

Glory to God that reigns above, That pitied us forlorn;
We join to sing our Maker's love, For there's a Savior born.
Track Name: ShH 5t: Angel's Hymn
The lands that long in darkness lay
Now have beheld a heav'nly light;
Nations that sat in death's cold shade
Are bless'd with beams divinely bright.

We've no abiding city here,
Sad truth were this to be our home,
But let this thought our spirits cheer:
We seek a city yet to come.