Monday, January 04, 2021

The search for a song

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:

148 Praise ye the Lord. Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the heights.Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts.Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.

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.

Trust me, it sounds better with some women singing soprano or alto.  But this video made my day anyhow.


  1. That song was so pretty it gave me goose bumps as I was listening, Donna. Such beautiful music! Thank you for sharing this link. It made my day too!! ~Andrea xoxo

  2. Enjoyed both his voice and the song. Gave it a like and subscribed.
    I listened while looking out at the blue skies and sunshine. I live three floors up, among the treetops. The aerial flora and fauna are my neighbors. Sometimes my corner loft apartment with western and northern windows is a tree house. During winter, a snowglobe. I like to joke that I have been training for our world's current crisis. #pandemiclife

    1. I notice he has some sermons on there. Let me warn you, C of C thinks they are the only real church. I don't hold with that belief personally. Just so you, and my other readers know that. I don't care whether you listen to the sermons or not, just wanted to give you a heads-up.

    2. Reminds me of a joke, Donna:

      A man died and went to heaven. Peter met him at the gate & offered to show him around the place before turning him loose. They went past the door of the first room and there was loud laughter & modern church music playing. Peter said: "This is where the Charismatic church folks live." They went past the door of the second room and there was lots of hands raised to the sky & voices praising the Lord. Peter said: "This is where the Pentecostal church folks live." Then Peter indicated that they had to whisper & tiptoe past the door of the third room. When the guy asked why they were whispering & tiptoeing, Peter said: "Because this is where the Church of Christ folks live.... and they think they're the only ones up here." :-D :-D :-D

      Hope that didn't offend anybody. I just always thought that was a cute joke. You can insert any denomination you want to, for the church that thinks they're the only ones going to make it to heaven. xoxo

    3. I've told that joke a few times myself.

  3. I loved the singing at church best too when I used to go. For many years, my dad was part of the official church choir.

  4. I’m going to listen to the song. Didn’t recognize the title.

  5. My mama and her sister use to sing gospel together and even sang on radio once. (a big deal back in the 30's). My mama had a beautiful voice and sang everyday at home. She use to have a small organ and would play it by ear. When she finally got an upright piano, she would play and we kids ( grown by then) would all gather around her and sing AMAZING GRACE, WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN, And I'LL FLY AWAY... just to name a few. After she had to be placed in the nursing home with alzheimers, the nurses told me she would go to the lobby and play YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE on the piano there! That was the song she and my daddy always sang to each other and it would be near the end before she forgot it. 😢 Lord, how I wish I could see her play and sing again.


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