Streams of Music

>> Saturday, April 16, 2011

I grew up in a very musical family. Before I was born my mother and three older sisters sang on the radio. When the family gathered, members would play musical instruments and others would sing along. One of the first songs I remember hearing was when my sister, Vera, sang to her children.

Baby’s boat’s a silvery moon
Sailing in the sky
Sailing o’er the sea of dreams
As the days go by

Vera had a whole box of sheet music that had been given her. I spent many evenings sitting by the piano while Vera played and we sang.

Goin’ take a sentimental journey
Goin’ set my heart at ease
Goin’ take a sentimental journey
To renew old memories

By my teen years, I was singing in a church quartet. Most of our songs came from the Stamps Baxter Quartet songbook.

Some glad morning when this life is o’er
I’ll fly away
To my home on God’s celestial shore
I’ll fly away

Of course, in church we sang the old hymns.

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound

As a teenager, I was not allowed to listen to popular music, so I missed all the songs of the late 50’ and 60’s. But I was in High School Chorale. One of the musicals we did had this song in it.

Summertime … and the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’
And the cotton is high

Vera had a collection of records by Spike Jones and his Wacky Wackateers. One of my favorites was:

That old black magic has me in its spell
That old black magic that you weave so well

I was soon having babies of my own and once again singing the songs I had heard as a child.

There’s a big crybaby in the moon, moon, moon
That cries, cries, cries

Why would anyone sing that kind of song to a baby? But it was one everyone in my family sang.

As my kids got older, they began to branch out in their music tastes. And once again, everyone played an instrument or two. One of their favorite duets to play on the piano was:

Heart and soul
I fell in love with you
Heart and soul

When they reached their teens, they were allowed to sample other types of music. I was introduced to Queen:

We will, we will rock you
We will, we will rock you

I discovered the Carpenters and had every song they sang memorized. One of the regulars we all sang together was:

I want to teach the world to sing,
In perfect harmony

That’s a song that has words we need now.

One of the songs that helped me through my very hard times was sung by the Imperials:

Praise the Lord
For our God inhabits praise.
Praise the Lord
For those chains that seem to bind you
Fall powerless behind you
When you praise the Lord.

I see songs in the words on billboards. I hear songs in words other people say. When I see a “detour” sign I sing:

There’s a muddy road ahead

I had never had alcohol in any form when I began going with my husband, John. He wanted to introduce me to some of his very good friends, so we went to their house for dinner. In celebration, they brought out some very old and good wine. I went to sleep on their couch. I should have sung this song.

Show me the way to go home
I’m tired and I want to go to bed
Had a little drink about an hour ago
And it went right to my head

Right after 9/11, our nation sang a collective song. It was sung on airplanes, at meetings, at sports events and at schools.

God bless America
Land that I love

I’ve met a lot of people who say they aren’t musical. A very small percentage of people truly have no musical ability. Music is such good therapy. The next time you are having a bad day, burst out in song. Others will be surprised and you’ll feel better.

“Sing! Beat the tambourine. Play the sweet lyre and the harp. Blow the ram’s horn at new moon, and again at full moon to call a festival!”  Psalms 81:2-3 (NLT)


Barbara Lynn Culler April 16, 2011 at 6:41 AM  

Wow Joy, I loved this! I, too, am a music lover and love the way you wove the songs into your story-cool!!! You even married into the perfect name!

Joy Bach April 16, 2011 at 7:41 AM  

Thanks Barb. Yes his family is Mormon and they have traced back to Johan. I had fun writing this. Glad you enjoyed it.

Marijo (Mary Jo) Phelps April 17, 2011 at 7:37 AM  

Nostelga tripping and you took us there with you!

Joy Bach April 17, 2011 at 8:42 PM  

It was fun. And I left out sooooo much.

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