This is certainly not the first time I’ve written about music, one of the passions of my life. It is the first time, though, that I’ve written during a pandemic in which we’ve been “encouraged” to stay home, practice social distancing, and shelter in place. I don’t get bored, thank goodness. There is always something or the other I can do. And lately, I’ve been spending more time at my piano.
My arthritic fingers make playing the piano more difficult. And I’m rusty. I don’t play for church any more, and that has reduced my incentive to practice daily. Advice for you younger folks: Don’t let your piano gather dust. Continue playing, even if it’s a bit painful. Doctors have told me that playing piano and typing are both very good to help keep stiff hands from freezing up.
Anyway, I’m also doing more listening. I have an eclectic collection of music. My tastes range from the southern gospel I learned to love as a child, listening to the Blackwood Brothers with Rudy Atwood at the piano (HE was my hero!) to classical sacred, to all the famous romantic, classical, and earlier composers. I love movie themes, pop songs, ragtime. I’m not into most of what is popular among kids today, but I still enjoy the music I loved as a kid myself, from the ’50’s and ’60’s.
Still, my favorite is the gospel style in which the piano accompanist is so incredibly amazing. Some of you will remember Anthony Burger, who died way too young. He was beyond amazing.
Yesterday, talking with Terry, he quoted the words from a well-known gospel song, wondering if its origins were in the spirituals of the slaves on southern plantations. I didn’t think so, but wasn’t positive. So–I love my computer–I looked it up. And I learned a few things!
Albert Brumley, 1905 -1977, was the writer and composer of the song we were discussing, This World is not my Home. It was published in 1946 in Sentimental Songs by the Stamps-Baxter Music and Printing Co.
The first time I remember hearing and singing this song was in 1957 when we moved to Oregon. We sang it in youth group, and it’s been a favorite ever since. I was 10, and the song was just one year older 🙂
Brumley wrote I’ll Fly Away, I’ll Meet You in the Morning, and many other well-known gospel songs. Here’s another one I especially like:
Those of you who share my love for this music will recognize many, many faces of those who have gone on to heaven, and are singing with total abandon in the Glory Hallelujah Choir up there.
Sometimes I can hardly wait to take my place in the alto section of that choir, singing a new song for all of eternity.
Or maybe, in heaven, I won’t be limited by my earthly vocal range. Huh. Never thought about that before 🙂