“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to him belong, they are weak but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me, for the Bible tells me so.”
Patty cake. Three blind mice. Row, row, row your boat. Twinkle, twinkle, little star!
Daddy sang bass, Mama sang tenor — no, actually they didn’t, Daddy sang something in a barbershop quartet but I have no idea what range voice he had.
Mama didn’t sing much. She loved to hear him sing, though, and when I was little and taking piano lessons, Mama taught herself the basics of playing the piano.
Music was always playing in our house, whether on radio or hi-fi (record player with fancy turntable, loadable with multiple vinyl records). Folk music, classics by symphony orchestras, musical movie soundtracks, blues and jazz from New Orleans, boogie woogie, Hits of the 50’s and 60’s, Big Band love songs and war songs — Mama and Daddy had a huge collection of long-play 33’s to choose from.
Or somebody in the house might be singing (who knows who), or playing banjo (daddy), or playing piano (me), or playing violin (brother Bud, aka Harold).
During the summer months when Bud and I spent a lot of time at our grandparents’ farm, Mimi usually had a radio on in the house tuned to a country music station somewhere.
Grand Ole Opry on WSM radio, direct from Nashville! I learned to love the sound of fiddle music, acoustic and slide steel guitar, the thump, thump of a big old bass guitar, the twang twang of ukuleles and mandolins, and lots of hillbilly tunes. Bluegrass. Mountain music. Honky-tonk!
When Mimi and Da bought a black and white television set, they discovered the Louisiana Hayride and Grand Ole Opry were broadcast there, too! Now I could see what my favorite country western music-makers looked like!
Saturday nights brought the memorable Kitty Wells’ “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” or Patsy Cline’s “Walking After Midnight” right into our living room.
I still can’t hear the name Hank Williams without hearing him singing “I Saw the Light.”
In between the vocalists might be the comedy skits of Minnie Pearl, or the amazing strings and pickin’ music of Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys.
Here’s a clip titled Earl’s Breakdown — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtMdqh3HFBo. It was wonderful then, still wonderful now!
Why did we love music so much?
One practical, earthly reason may have been Daddy’s oldest sister, Aunt Myrtle. She played piano for silent movies! And she sponsored my piano lessons. Myrtle could play like Liberace and she loved for all of us to listen.
There’s another, more spiritual reason, though. Music was Father God’s invention. The Lord sings! The sons of God (angels) sing! Heavens, earth, trees and mountains, even the stars sing!
So when it came to creating human beings, it’s only logical that He’d include a music gene in there somewhere. At least in my own family, I’m sure he did!
“The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” (Zeph. 3:17)
“When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:7)
“Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the LORD, because he cometh to judge the earth.” (I Chron. 16:33)
“Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.” (Isaiah 49:13)