In the 1970s, I lived in a strict religious communal organization, part of the Jesus People Movement, in which we sang (as it now seems) all the time. We sang spontaneously, a capella --- never used a song leader or hymnal or songbook --- and also, frequently an individual would accompany himself or herself with a guitar while we listened.

Some of the individual-with-guitar songs, I now understand --- perhaps the best ones --- were covers of "profane" popular songs. For instance, we covered "Pack Up Your Sorrows," by Pauline Marden and Richard Fariña, changing "give them all to me" to "give them all to Jesus." I was 16 when I got into this commune, and for years never realized it was a cover.

One of the individual-with-guitar songs had the following refrain: "When the darkness of the night begins to show / Jesus always says hello." I strongly suspect this covered a song with a refrain similar to "When the darkness of the night begins to show / Streetlight always says hello." I hummed / sang it here: http://jacobwegelin.net/tmp/misc/. But an internet search for these lyrics does not bring it up. Does anyone know this song? I think it may also have a line like "By the light of a thousand streetlamps ..."

I used the "folk" tag not because it is a traditional song (far from it) but because it was part of what I think is called the "folk" genre. Acoustic, i.e., no electric guitar, and the melody is plaintive, sort of dreamy. A single singer, no orchestration.

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  • I'm not adding this as answer, since the lyrics don't match. But the melody of the recording you linked reminds me of "Sisters of Mercy" by Leonard Cohen. Here's a link... youtube.com/watch?v=VT9k5NHCdvQ And even if that's not the song you are looking for, it's a lovely song. :)
    – cnamejj
    Mar 13 at 8:18
  • @cnamejj Leonard Cohen's "Sisters of Mercy" is a different song we co-opted. We turned that into "My truelove Christ Jesus he is not departed or gone." They are 2 different melodies, aren't they? Mar 13 at 16:48
  • @Aaron that was my own post, originally at musictheory, migrated to this sub-site. Mar 13 at 16:49
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    @cnamejj we also sang "Amazing Grace" to the melody of "House of the Rising Sun." It still comes out with that melody, rather than the traditional melody, if I don't watch myself. Mar 16 at 4:40

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