Monday, December 02, 2013

On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand

When I was a kid, that was my favorite Church song.  It was happy and upbeat and had great four-part harmony.  The reason the song came to mind is that I was upstairs this morning and happened to see this old songbook, copyright 1940:
Right down the road from my Grandma Stevens' house was the Zion Church of Christ.  This paperback hymnbook is from that church.  My mom wrote "Zion" on it at some point, probably thinking nobody would know where it came from after she was gone.  I would never forget, though.  Zion memories are all tied up with the grandma memories.  Sometimes I'd stroll down the road from her house, walk inside, and play church all by myself; the doors weren't locked.  I was the preacher, the song-leader, and the congregation, all in one.  Trouble is, I could never make a sermon last over five minutes.     

I see aunts and uncles and Grandma in this picture.  There were only two doors in the building, both in the front.  

I think they closed the doors of Zion sometime before 1960.

That battered old songbook has seen some hard times:  One time Big Creek got out of its banks and flooded Zion Church.  I was at Grandma's when it happened, and I remember watching her hang all those books on the clothesline to dry.

This was my favorite song.  But the strange thing is, I can't find this song, with this tune and chorus, anywhere on the Internet, so I'm going to fix that.  This is what I consider to be the REAL "On Jordan's Stormy Banks", because this is the one I grew up with.  

You get to watch Cora being cute while I sing.  That way you have something fun to look at.

Youtube has the "I Am Bound For The Promised Land" version by many different artists.  Different tune, different chorus.  I'm sure it's the oldest version, but that doesn't make it the RIGHT one.  


  1. How sweet that darling baby is. Thanks for singing the song for us today. I have the music for my dulcimer and had never played it because i didn't know the tune. I read music poorly and it really helps when I've heard the song.

  2. "Ma", what I was singing isn't the tune in your book. Yours would be the old "Bound For The Promised Land".

  3. Aww what a nice entry Mosie. Looks like Cora is keeping time.

  4. What a delightful video of Cora and you. Great story about you and the memories of church.

  5. You have a nice voice! I have fond memories of the old country church we attended when I was a youngster. I loved this post about your church and the hymn. Thanks for sharing!
    The baby is a doll and I can see she likes music!

  6. That church looks a lot like the old Horsely Chapel Methodist that my parents and their families went to for years. I can barely remember it, although I do remember going to the two-seater outhouse there. It's a new brick building now. Loved the video!

  7. Whoops! Hit enter before I meant to. She looks like she is trying really hard to sing along with you!

  8. Your voice is so pure and true. Never heard the hymn before. Cora is adorable!!


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