They tell me that when a person reaches a certain stage of dementia, he can remember his childhood very clearly, but can't tell you what happened yesterday.
The older I get, the more I think about my childhood. So I guess I'm preparing myself for dementia. Many of my memories are of church, since my parents went faithfully to church twice on Sunday and again on Wednesday night, not to mention the Gospel Meetings (revivals) they had about once a year. When we lived in Iowa, I remember Mother taking me out for a spanking at church when I was very young. I was kicking at the pew with the side of my foot and refused to stop when she told me to. I must have been pretty small, because she picked me up and carried me out as I yelled, "I'll be good, I'll be good!"
My favorite part of Church was the singing. Even now, when I sit down in a pew at either of the churches I attend, you will see me pick up a bulletin and scan it to see if any of my favorite hymns are listed for that day.
The Church of Christ didn't have instruments in those days, and most congregations still don't. A Cappella was what you got. Everyone sang their parts. Some congregations held singing schools that taught us how to read shaped notes, so most anyone who could carry a tune was able to sing whichever part fit their voices... soprano, alto, tenor, or bass... even if they didn't read notes any other way. I also learned a lot about singing alto just riding in the car with my parents; Mother would help me with my part and we'd sing hymns as we traveled.
When we lived in North Missouri, the singing wasn't very impressive, because most of the congregations in small towns didn't have a lot of people attending. But when we had our first-Sunday singings, people who loved to sing would gather from several congregations. That was when I really learned to appreciate A Cappella singing. We sounded amazing, I thought, and I sang at the top of my lungs. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir had nothing on us! I'd never heard of them at the time, but if I had, I would have thought we were just as talented as they were.
A few days ago in my daily Bible reading I was reading the Psalm for that day, Psalm 148, which begins like this:
It reminded me of a song we used to sing at church that surely must have been based on this Psalm, a song I had not heard since the fifties, I'm sure. I've attended several different denominational churches throughout my life, but I'm positive none of them sang that song. I felt compelled to hear it. It used to be so much fun to hear, and sing, the different parts! I looked on Youtube and found a lot of videos with the right words, but the wrong melody. I needed to hear just like I remembered. I scrolled down, down, down.
The very last video was the version I was looking for.
I would rather have heard a congregation singing it, but this was the next-best thing, since the male harmonies, at least, were on the tape or CD the man was singing with. I left him a comment on the video to thank him.