|Title:||LET US BREAK BREAD|
|Incipit:||56111 11322 11355|
|Source:||African-American spiritual;Calhoun melody|
The tune BREAK BREAD TOGETHER, like the text, has been subject to variation. It became widely known after publication in The Second Book of Negro Spirituals (1926), compiled by the brothers James Weldon Johnson and Rosamond Johnson. The tune gained further popularity through a variety of choral arrangements; it can be found in many hymnals dating after 1955, when it was published in the American Presbyterian/Reformed Hymnbook. Dale Grotenhuis (PHH 4) harmonized the tune in 1984 for the Psalter Hymnal.
Arranged without the call-and-response pattern that often characterizes African American spirituals, BREAK BREAD TOGETHER in the Psalter Hymnal takes the shape of a regular hymn, with part singing on the stanzas and refrain. If you like, however, sing stanzas 1 and 2 in unison and the refrain and stanza 3 in parts–a higher melody line for stanza 3 is published in The Hymnal 1982 (1985), a revision of the American Protestant Episcopal Hymnal 1940. In addition, try singing the entire song without accompaniment.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1987