Room At My Table

by Mike Wilson

At this time of year when we are thinking more readily of generosity, gratitude, and love, it seems appropriate to remember that a burden shared is a burden lightened. Though certainly it is not limited to this season. The news is filled with enough these days to leave many children with feelings of fear and confusion – they don't fit in, their foundations shaken. But children aren't the only ones. We all get beat up by this world on occasion. "Room At My Table" is a song about opening our hearts to each other, helping with one another's afflictions and sorrows.

Acoustic guitar is the feature instrument with support by piano, a fretless bass, and strings. We set the scene with a soloist for the first verse. She or he should feel free to take some liberties with the rhythms. But stick pretty close to the melody as it is the first time the listener will hear it. Of course, if you don't have a soloist, the choir can sing the verse in unison. A 2-part choir joins at the chorus (measure 21). The verses remain unison, supported by a cello obligato then full string group at the choruses. The optional second part joins again at the chorus and then all the way through the bridge. Make the bridge as dramatic as possible building to its end. It all comes down to a more intimate feel for the first half of the last verse, building one more time to the chorus. A soloist takes it home as tenderly and innocently as possible. A rehearsal track for part 2 can be found at our web site. It is broken into two pieces for best use.

If your winter program includes any sort of charity or goodwill drive, this song would be a perfect centerpiece. Ask audience members to bring an item of clothing or food to donate if possible. Share your efforts with the community and turn it into a teachable moment for your students and their families.

Note: We have many other pieces appropriate for this type of program. Look in our searchable index under Goodwill/Generosity at You will find it in the drop-down menu on our home page.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.