Yesterday, a song meandered into my mind.
And I'll sing hallelujah,
and you'll sing hallelujah...
What song was that?
I could hear it in my mind,
but I didn't know where I'd heard it,
or where to find it.
After a long time, I found it,
and it was more than I bargained for.
This is an old type of singing from the American South,
called Sacred Harp,
or shape-note, singing.
There is no accompaniment,
no formal conductor.
In the musical notation,
each note has a shape,
so that people who didn't know anything about music
could still sing.
Sacred Harp is everything I love about America,
and about being human.
Nothing but plain ordinary folks,
with the sod of this great earth
running through their veins,
facing each other,
singing about everything in their hearts,
about what makes a poor, beat up life
a life worth living.
Today I was mad,
and I put Hallelujah on.
And I thought about how sweet it will be to see God
and how meaningful the smallest things really are.
Deep down in the mud is where you can see life
for what it is.