Monday, February 11, 2013

And I'll sing hallelujah!

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 audience,
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.

1 comment:

  1. For the last long while I've been gaining such a bright testimony of how great and miraculous group sharing and community can be. Just like you said - ordinary folk sharing and singing what's in their hearts to uplift and strengthen one another. Also, your last line made me think of this C.S Lewis quote I recently found - "No amount of falls will really undo us if we keep on picking ourselves up each time. We shall of course be very muddy and tattered children by the time we reach home. But the bathrooms are all ready, the towels put out, and the clean clothes are in the airing cupboard. The only fatal thing is to lose one’s temper and give it up. It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present to us: it is the very sign of his presence.”