You are here

Cherish Your Doubt

"A Horticulturist's Dilemma" by Seaword (a.k.a. Simon Alexander-Adams). Used by permission of the artist

An affirmation of doubt, that vital component of belief
Commissioned by Vox Femina Los Angeles / Iris Levine
Poet/Lyricist: 
Elizabeth Alexander

This vibrant work uses the energy and immediacy of gospel music to affirm that most important component of belief: doubt.  A soulful opening solo leads to the chorus' response, a bold declaration alive with full-bodied chords and incisive lyrics.

Cherish Your Doubt may also be performed as part of the concert-length work, Go Out!

This song is included on the CD, Finally On My Way To Yes, which may be ordered below.

Individual tracks may be downloaded at the following online stores:
 

This song may be performed with drums and bass.  The bass part is available below!

ORDER MUSIC DIRECTLY FROM SEAFARER PRESS:
Look Listen Instrumentation/Voicing Duration Level Item Price Quantity
http://seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/sites/seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/files/works_variant_audio_files/cherish_your_doubt_satb.mp3 SATB, piano (Optional: bass/drums) - Choral Score
5'00" M SEA-063-01 $3.75
Sheet Music
http://seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/sites/seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/files/works_variant_audio_files/cherish_your_doubt_satb.mp3 SATB, piano (Optional: bass/drums) - Choral Score
5'00" M SEA-063-01D $2.25
Licensed PDF
http://seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/sites/seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/files/works_variant_audio_files/cherish_your_doubt_ssaa.mp3 SSAA, piano (Optional: bass/drums) - Choral Score
5'00" M SEA-063-02 $3.75
Sheet Music
http://seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/sites/seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/files/works_variant_audio_files/cherish_your_doubt_ssaa.mp3 SSAA, piano (Optional: bass/drums) - Choral Score
5'00" M SEA-063-02D $2.25
Licensed PDF
All Voicings - Double Bass/Bass Guitar Part
(Click on PDF icon to download part)
5'00" ME SEA-063-03D $0.00
Free PDF
http://seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/sites/seafarerpress.advantagelabs.com/files/works_variant_audio_files/finally_on_my_way_to_yes_0.mp3 Finally on My Way to Yes - CD
60'00" SEA-CD-01 $10.00
CD

Cherish Your Doubt

Lyrics by Elizabeth Alexander

Springtime without winter would enter with a yawn,
And dawn without the night would be a tedium of light.
Reunion follows parting, renewal follows death,
And our songs of love have grown
From the very seeds our doubt have sown.
Without a doubt, our hearts and minds would never grow,
Without a doubt, our dreams would have nowhere to go,
Without a doubt, we'd never change the status quo.
Yes, without a doubt, we'd be hanging on
To notions that are better gone,
So try to love the questions,
Those thorny, thorny questions.
Trust your intuition, and cherish your doubt.

Cherish your doubt, don't throw it out.
That's what true belief is about.
With a faith both tempered and strong,
Questioning only helps it along,
Use your eyes and ears and hands and heart and mind,
And what you find may change the world,
So don't throw it out, don't throw it out —
Cherish your doubt.

Cherish your doubt, don't throw it out.
Mighty oaks can weather a drought.
Any faith worth taking to heart,
Tested a bit, will not fall apart.
Use your eyes and ears and hands and heart and mind,
And what you find may change the world,
So don't throw it out, don't throw it out —
Cherish your doubt.

(Don't be afraid of what you'll find.
Leave your darkest fears behind.)

Cherish your doubt, don't throw it out.
That's one thing you can't do without.
When you walk that less-traveled route,
Wonderful new ideas may sprout.
Use your eyes and ears and hands and heart and mind,
And what you find may change the world,
So don't throw it out, don't throw it out —
Cherish your doubt.

(Call on your reason and compassion, although it may not be in fashion.
Don't be afraid of what you'll find, just leave your fears behind.)

Cherish your doubt, don't you ever refuse it;
You can move a whole mountain if you use it —
Cherish your doubt.

(A different drummer you will hear when you cherish your doubt.
You haven't anything to fear when you cherish your doubt.)

That's what true belief is about — don't throw it out!

Composer's Note: 

The phrase "Cherish your doubt" was coined by Reverend Robert Weston in a piece of writing which inspired this song.  The phrase is used with the blessing of his son, Richard Weston.

Reviews and Responses: 

"We performed it last month, and loved every minute of learning and performing it."  - Nancy Starr, Director of Music, Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church (Oak Ridge, TN)

Performers: 

SATB:
Choir of Unity Church-Unitarian - Shirley Leiphon, soloist - Ruth Palmer, conductor (Saint Paul, MN)   * Premiere

Canfield Village Middle School Cardinal Chorale - Stephanie Summer, conductor ~
          Ohio Music Educators Association Conference (Cleveland, OH)
Choir of Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist Church - Dale Churchill, conductor (Portland, OR)
Choir of Buxmont Unitarian Universalist Fellowship - John Hook, conductor (Warrington, PA)
Choir of Eliot Unitarian Chapel - Leon Burke III conductor (Kirkwood, MO)
Choir of Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church - Galina Barskaya, conductor (Canoga Park, CA)
Choir of First Parish in Milton - Emma Jean Moulton, conductor (Milton, MA)
Choir of First Parish of Sudbury - Debra Morris-Bennett, conductor (Sudbury, MA)
Choir of First Unitarian Church of Baltimore - Jim Houston, conductor (Baltimore, MD)
Choir of First Unitarian Church of Lynchburg, VA (Lynchburg, VA)
Choir of First Unitarian Society of Denver - Sharon Pitchford, conductor (Denver, CO)
Choir of First Universalist Church of Rochester, NY - Silviya Mateva, conductor (Rochester, NY)
Choir of Jefferson Unitarian Church - Keith Arnold, conductor (Golden, CO)
Choir of Kingston Unitarian Fellowship - Phyllis Robbins, conductor (Kingston , ON)
Choir of Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church - Nancy Starr, conductor (Oak Ridge, TN)
Choir of Second Unitarian Church of Chicago - Karen Mooney, soloist - Blake Adams, conductor (Chicago, IL)
Choir of Theodore Parker Church - James Johnson, conductor (West Roxbury, MA)
Choir of Unitarian-Universalist Church of Ann Arbor - Sarah Albright, conductor (Ann Arbor, MI)
Choir of Unitarian-Universalist Church of Eugene - Tom Sears, conductor (Eugene, OR)
Choir of Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Bridgeport - Martha Meyer, conductor (Stratford, CT)
Choir of Unitarian‑Universalist Church of Rockford - Tim Anderson, conductor (Rockford, IL)
Choir of Unitarian Universalist Church of San Mateo - Shawn Reifschneider, conductor (San Mateo, CA)
Choir of Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Grand Traverse - Kevin Tarsa, conductor (Grand Traverse, MI)
Choir of Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Marin - Philip Hildreth, conductor (San Rafael, CA)
Choir of Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens - Amber Fetner, conductor (Athens, GA)
Choir of Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County - Amanda Silliker, conductor (State College, PA)
Choir of Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville - Ruth Lewis, conductor (Gainsville, FL)
Choir of Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of LaCrosse - Becky Post, conductor (LaCrosse, WI)
Choir of Valley Unitarian Universalist Church - Kellie Walker, conductor (Chandler, AZ)
Choir of West Hills Unitarian Fellowship - Allison Wilski, conductor (Portland, OR)
Choir of West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church - Dave Blazer, conductor (Rocky River, OH)
Desert Chorale of Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson - Brian Moon, conductor (Tucson, AZ)
Unitarian Universalist General Assembly Choir - Marti Mendenhall, soloist - Leon Burke III, conductor ~
     UUA General Assembly (Portland, OR)
Lesbian and Gay Chorus of Washington D.C. - Suede, soloist - C Paul Heins, conductor (Washington, DC)
Meetinghouse Choir of First Parish in Milton - Emma Jean Moulton, conductor (Milton, MA)
Meetinghouse Choir of First Unitarian Society of Madison - Dan Broner, conductor (Madison, WI)
Ohio University Singers - Peter Jarjisian, conductor - Denise Huff, soprano ~ Ohio University (Athens, OH)
San Mateo Unitarian Universalist Festival Choir - Shawn Reifschneider, conductor (San Mateo, CA)
Southeast Michigan Unitarian Universalist Festival Choral - Sarah Albright, conductor (Ann Arbor, MI)
Southeast Wisconsin Unitarian Universalist Council - Twila Bergeron, conductor (Mequon, WI)
Southeastern Wisconsin Unitarian Universalist Choralfest (Waukesha, WI)
Unitarian Universalist Central MidWest District Choir - Rubin Piirainen, conductor (Madison, WI)
Vocal Ensemble of Unitarian Universalist Church of Grand Traverse - Kevin Weber, soloist -
          Kevin Tarsa, conductor (Traverse City, MI)
Youth Choir of Community Church of Chapel Hill - Glen Mehrbach, conductor (Chapel Hill, NC)

SSAA:
Vox Femina Los Angeles - Suede, soloist - Iris Levine, conductor  (Los Angeles, CA)   * Premiere
Choir of First Congregational Church of Montclair - Julie Morgan, conductor (Montclair, NJ)
Grand Rapids Women's Chorus - Lori Tennenhouse, conductor (Grand Rapids, MI)
Ohio Music Educator's Association District 5 Festival Chamber Choir - Peter Jarjisian, conductor (Warren, OH)
University of North Carolina Women's Glee Club - Christin Campbell, soloist - Sue Klausmeyer, conductor (Durham, NC)

Looking for similar titles?
These links will allow you to view all titles in a particular category!
Genres: 
Difficulty: 
Choral/Vocal Categories: 
Choral Voicings: 
Accompaniment Type: 
Religious Traditions: 
Bestsellers & Newest Titles: 

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer