Jul 8, 2012

Memorable, Meaningful Music

 July 8--Song lyrics that you find some meaning in.

Music has played an integral part of my life, even before I was born. There is no doubt that I heard my mother playing the piano, felt the movement and rhythm of her body as she played, experienced the vibration of the piano strings as the sound waves passed through her belly into my being.  As a child, I learned to read music and sing, and I even was able to play the piano and violin passably. Later, I taught myself some guitar chords because I loved to sing along with Joan Baez.
Similar to the radio I grew up listening to.
 I still love music though I don't play or sing much any more. I just this year started singing at church again after having been away from choir for over 10 years. I haven't played the piano either since I started working on Cozy Corner Crochets (Etsy). I can still play the radio, though!

When I wrote my post on tradition, I linked a YouTube video of Tevyev singing from The Fiddler On The Roof. That musical made such an impression on me that the tunes are readily recalled. Other musicals, such as The Sound of Music, left me with many memories. Cats is another one that I can play over and over. I haven't seen some of the newer ones, though I did catch some of a televised live performance of the Phantom of the Opera.

For quite a while, I listened to popular music---rock, country, jazz, etc.---and knew the words to lots of songs on the radio. I still have a collection of over a hundred LPs. However, I've gotten back to my first love of Christian music. I was raised on hymns and taught to sing harmony. My mother's family was large, and whenever there was a reunion, there was always hymn singing. At one time in his life, my grandfather actually wrote hymns for some old-timey gospel quartets. Do you know what shape notes are? That's what he used to write his music.

The "Rice Kids" sing together at every opportunity. Here, from L to R, are Myrle, Coleen, Deene, and Kent at Kent's 80th birthday celebration, July 2011.  Coleen is my mother.

Many evangelical churches today have moved away from the older hymns in favor of praise music. Since being back in the choir, I'm getting to learn new songs. But I can still sing some "oldies but goodies". My mother says she can't get used to not singing hymns in church. It took me a while to get used to the newer music, but now I love it.

I thought that as I wrote this I would think of some lyrics that are more memorable to me than others, and I just can't. There are too many of them that I don't know where to start. Maybe if I just start with today I'll be successful in narrowing it down. Here is one we sang this morning--a very old, traditional hymn---and I could still sing the alto part without any music.

1. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

2. Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Who was, and is, and evermore shall be.

3. Holy, holy, holy! though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

4. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy; merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!


  1. My children each have a hymn that I consider theirs. I love the "oldies AND goodies" as well as the praise songs.

    I used to love singing (and playing) Joan Baez' "Diamonds and Rust". I recently saw a video of hers that is so heartwarming - she forgot some of the lyrics... hahahahaha. Made me feel so human!

    Sing on, dear friend, sing on!! Glad to read you this morning!

    here is my post for today...

    1. Thanks for the encouragement. Glad you stopped by.

  2. I love this song. I remember singing it in church as a child. My church does more of the praise and worship songs, instead of the hymns, but I miss them. When they actually do the hymns, I love it. :)

    1. Just last night at church we sang a hymn, Come Thy Fount. Do you remember it?

  3. I love this hymn! I no longer attend the Lutheran Church but when I did this one was a regular! I could sing it without music too. My church does hymns rarely, but this Sunday they did do Amazing Grace beautifully. Another oldie but goodie.

    1. Yes, what a dull life it would be without Amazing Grace.

  4. I love this song and love hymns!

    1. I hope hymns stay around for a long time. Our children need to hear them too.


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