Free music is songwriter’s holiday gift

  • Sarah Pirtle of Shelburne Falls is offering free downloads of her music for the holidays. Contributed photo—

Recorder Staff
Tuesday, December 12, 2017

SHELBURNE FALLS — Music is one of the joys of the season, and singer/songwriter Sarah Pirtle wants to share that joy with others, by offering free-downloads of her recordings and newest songs.

“I want to offer songs that give companionship in hard times, songs that provide comfort and connection,” says Pirtle, who has won Parents’ Choice and Magic Penny awards for her children’s music, among other awards.

Her free collection of 55 songs, called “Hope Sings,” are compiled from her 10 recordings and include new songs that have not been previously released.

“If someone is feeling discouraged, isolated, depressed, my wish is that they would find a song that speaks to them and play it when they need it. I also want to connect people to stories of courage, social movements and their own love of the earth.”

These songs can be downloaded for free from her website:


Pirtle invites people to download and make their own compilation CD to give to others, as holiday gifts.

Many songs tell stories of social change movements, including a ballad about the late Juanita Nelson, at age 16 in 1939, refusing to sit in the back car of a segregated train. As an adult, Nelson and her late husband Wally farmed in Deerfield and were well known for civil rights and peace activism. “Hands Across the Hills” is about the project connecting Leverett and a Kentucky county in these times of political and cultural polarization. Another song is about the Women’s March in January 2017, and the Women’s Pentagon Action in 1980. “Take Another Step” honors veterans healing from war.

Local musicians who played on her CDs are represented in this collection. They include Lui Collins, Ellen Clegg, Eveline MacDougall, Monrningstar Chenven, Sue Kranz, Peter Siegel, Beck Tracy, Ella Wolfzahn-Deters. New York fiddle player John Kirk plays, as well as the late Sarah Benson on flute.

Pirtle, an Interfaith minister, is willing to perform free concerts for schools, church and community gatherings, with the themes of hope, peace and courage. Last winter and spring, she offered bi-monthly “Hope Singing” sessions at the Senior Center in Shelburne Falls, which will resume in the coming year.