The Welcome Wagon is a married couple, the Reverend Thomas Vito Aiuto and his wife Monique, who execute a genre of gospel music that is refreshingly plain. Their hymns are modest and melodic takes on a vast history of sacred song traditions, delivered with the simple desire to know their Maker—and to know each other—more intimately.
We have put together a list of links, charts, and liturgical ideas for this wonderful album from The Welcome Wagon. All of the sidebar links are short pseudo-ethnomusicological write ups by Sufjan Stevens.
We have a similar page of resources for their new album – go here.
Welcome to the Welcome Wagon tracklist:
‘Up on a Mountain’ explicates our Lord’s situation on Mt. Gethsemane. Use for Good Friday, or a Tenebrae service.
Originally written by The Danielson Family. Jesus is the rich man who has come to pay the price. A rollicky, gospel fused junk-pop classic!
The WW’s adaptation of Psalm 127 from The Psalter of the United Presbyterian Church of North America, 1887.
If “Rich Man” is a song of protest, the traditional spiritual “He Never Said a Mumblin’ Word” is an exercise in silence, entrenched in one of the more sobering theological precepts: the death of God. – Sufjan Stevens. Listen/watch this traditional version by the Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet
“Hail To the Lord’s Anointed,” a paraphrase of psalm 72, is a litany of Judaic exultations enumerating, with grand poetic lyricism, the many roles of the God Messiah – Sufjan Stevens
Originally written by Lenny Smith. This foot stomper draws on the imagery of the Old Testament prophet Malachi (Mal. 4:2; 3:17)
The clamoring climax to this liturgical record finds itself compounding a Sacred Harp hymn with the spectacle of Broadway Theater by superimposing the catchy 5/4 pop motif from Jesus Christ Superstar (“Everything’s Alright”) onto a timid dirge of spiritual alienation aptly titled “I Am A Stranger.” – Sufjan Stevens
A recent spiritual with text by William Johnson (1953). Used by churches recently during Holy Week services.