Monday, August 23, 2004

All I ever want from you is ...

Music! Music! Music! (cue flappers)

Several amusing anecdotes from the weekend church services.

Anecdote 1.

Mrs. A sometimes has to tell me to behave in the middle of the song services. And all because I like to add a little dramatic interpretation to the occasional song. I guess if it was just me, it wouldn't be so bad, but one of the guys up the choir always joins me, and then my kids start, and then ... well, then Mrs. A gives me the eye - and not the one I like getting, either.

We sang "The Solid Rock" Sunday morning. The words to the chorus end with "All other ground is sinking sand" repeated twice. So when you get to the "sinking" part you bend your knees ever so slightly to actually sink down a bit. By the time we sang the third verse, the whole pew was somewhat a-giggle.

Things got really out of hand on Sunday night, though, when we sang "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms". What with all those "leanings" in the chorus just begging for a slight shift to the left followed by a slight shift to the right. She might let me get by with more, but she seems to think that since we sit in the front pews we ought to behave. Hmph.

Anecdote 2.

Last night the music minister got up and announced that the song service was going to be a "U Pick 'Em" service where the congregation could select some of their favorites to sing. He no sooner got the words "You can pick" out of his mouth when one of the older gents called out, "410." Of course, he wasn't quite to that spot in the service yet and hadn't expected anyone to be so quick, so it kind of flustered him a bit. Naturally, everybody had a pretty good chuckle at his expense. Young whipper-snapper.

Anecdote 3.

One of the requirements of selecting a song, was that you had to give a reason for picking it. One of the songs was selected by a youngster in the pew behind us. I think she may be all of seven or eight. She gave the number and said it was because she liked it and that God was, "a great piece of art."

The song?

"How great Thou art" of course.

I don't think most folks heard her since she was up towards the front and didn't talk too loud. But it was all I could do to maintain a straight face.

Anecdote 4.

The piano player last night wasn't the regular one, but the regular substitute. She's a good friend of the Aardvarks and in fact, gave the EAC her first piano lessons. Because she's a little younger than the other pianist, she has some other stuff in her repertoire. Last night, she had some hymn arrangements with lots of jazz stylings. The hymn she played for the prelude was arranged with some intriguing chord progressions. The tune was still recognizable, but it had a different feel to it. The postlude (that's the going-out song at the end of the service) was jazzy, but more in a hep-cat, be-bop kind of way. Mrs. A and I both happened to be standing close to the piano as she played the last "riff". Without coordinating or even knowing what the other one was thinking, we both said in unison, "Oh, yeah!"

Maybe you had to be there...

Anecdote 5.

The regular piano player came up about that time, and said, "I hear you're going to be singing one of my favorite songs!" Now, I had run into the organist at lunch on Saturday and she had said she wanted me to sing a duet with one of the ladies in choir, and I said that'd be fine and in fact, the choir lady had already given me the music, so we just needed to schedule it (and rehearse it, of course). So, when the pianist said that, I figured that was what she was talking about and so I just said, "I am?" And she said, "Yes. I heard you were going to sing 'I've just seen Jesus'."

At which point I about choked.

"I've just seen Jesus" is a Larnelle Harris/Sandi Patty song from about twenty years ago. It's a very dramatic, very moving song about the resurrection of Christ on Easter morning. I've heard it performed dozens, maybe hundreds of times. Of which one, maybe two, were NOT physically painful to sit through. You see, in order to sing this song well, you have to have great range, great tone and great pitch. In other words, great PIPES. Francesca could sing it - I'm not touching it. Because if you DON'T have pipes, it sounds like you've accidentally stepped on the cat's tail or have been possessed by the spirit of a rabid weasel (or both!). I put this song in the same category as songs with "A-a-a-ahs" and "Woh-oh-oh-ohs" in them - leave them to the professionals 'cause when you try it, it just sounds like you're in pain.

Anyway, I said that she must be mistaken and she said that she thought I was going to sing it with the choir lady. Yes, I said, I WAS going to sing a song with the choir lady, but the name of that one was "In the presence of Jehovah". Oh, she said. Maybe that was it after all and she had just misunderstood.

Of course, I've had the song stuck in my head ever since ... but fortunately only the Larnelle/Sandi version.

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