Sunflowers & Thistles

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A year after the murder of George Floyd, a new booklet of praise songs and protests has been published by the United Reformed Church. Sunflowers & Thistles is a collection of songs written by URC minister and hymn writer the Revd John Campbell, and focuses on the Black Lives Matter movement and the coronavirus pandemic.

The free online resources include the booklet of songs, which can be sung to the tunes of well-known hymns, a full music version of all the hymns, PowerPoint presentations and slides, and videos.

Sunflowers & Thistles – words booklet and music book

A full-colour booklet with lyrics to all the hymns. Includes an introduction by the Revd John Campbell: 

Download Sunflowers & Thistles sheet music for all hymns: 

Sheet music for individual hymns (selection)

A bouquet of sunflowers and thistles

In August 2020, there was a Black Lives Matter demonstration outside Tottenham police station. Passing along the High Road after this peaceful  protestwas over, I saw a bouquet of sunflowers and thistles propped against the fence. It seemed deeply symbolic, so I wrote this song.

Cry, ‘I can’t breathe!’

John Campbell: "The words of George Floyd (and others who died pinned down by police) have become a rallying cry for much wider issues of injustice. This song seeks to invite Christians to share the cry and join the struggle."

Great giver of courage

A song for Pentecost in challenging times.

The ‘owner’ of the fig tree

John Campbell: "Having looked at the simple tale about a figless fig tree in Luke 13.6-9, our explorations, lit by the Black Lives Matter movement and news of unequal effects of Covid-19 in BAME communities, we were led to see (as we’d never seen before) a powerful investigation of competing explanations of fruitlessness, that richly echoed modern-day attitudes to the black experience in the UK. Jesus does not go with the ‘owners’." 

The pain and the outrage

For George Floyd. A first response to the shocking news of this public death.

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom!

John Campbell: "In no time at all, after lockdown, many of us found our worship services were on Zoom. Here is a wee song to start a Zoom worship service."

PowerPoint presentation slides

Download these PowerPoint presentation slides to use with some of the hymns:

MP3 audio files

Download audio recordings of the hymns: 

MP4 video files

Download MP4 videos of the hymns: 


Watch videos of the hymns on YouTube:

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