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The Cheapening of Music

A couple of semesters ago, we had a visitor to our campus. He was an older man, and upon seeing him one wouldn’t think much of him. But he brought with him a collection of old instruments that were displayed on campus, and one afternoon he sat before an audience of curious students and faculty to talk and show some of his instruments. He played an interesting harmonica that was equipped with a bell, as well as an instrument that I had never seen before, the Tennessee music box. Although it was played much like a mountain dulcimer, it was square and boxy in shape–but this didn’t hinder it from having a good sound.

His talk was not long, but he said some things that really made me think. He was old enough to remember the days before music could be so easily distributed, before the age of the CD and the MP3 player. There may have been records and radios when he was growing up, but music was just different back then. Read More

Hymn of the Week – Fairest Lord Jesus

Words written by German Jesuits in the 17th century
Music from a Silesian folk song
MP3 recording
CyberHymnal entry

Fairest Lord Jesus!
Ruler of all nature!
O Thou of God and man the Son!
Thee will I cherish,
Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul’s glory, joy, and crown.

Fair are the meadows,
Fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring;
Jesus is fairer,
Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.

Fair is the sunshine,
Fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling starry host:
Jesus shines brighter,
Jesus shines purer,
Than all the angels heaven can boast.

What Is My Life Like?

From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

What is my life like? Some murky river
Swept by wild winds upon its way,
Where willows weep and shrinking aspens quiver
And poisonous vapors cloud the sunny day.

Upon the green banks lie in beauty sleeping
Full many a golden dream, too bright to last;
But, ah! the rapid river, onward sweeping,
Leaves them among the treasures of the past.

Sometimes the sky is blue and birds are singing,
And winds float laden with the breath of flowers,
While in the distance, clearly ringing,
Joy bells are telling out the happy hours.

Again dim clouds come rolling o’er me,
Casting their shadows on my weary soul,
While dim and darker grows the way before me,
Where vivid lightnings flash and thunders roll.

Then is my life most like a river, rushing
In fierce, impetuous haste its course along,
While the wild rain in bitter tears comes gushing,
Swelling its bosom with a sense of wrong—

Wrong, that so oft across the sky come sailing
Dark clouds to hide from me the genial sun;
Wrong, that the breeze should change to wailing;
Wrong, that my hopes should ne’er be won.

Yet in my darkest hours a voice comes stealing
From my soul’s chamber: “Let His will be done.”
Then sweet and low the Sabbath bells are pealing,
And shines again the glorious sun.

The end will come full soon. This restless river
Will some day reach the grand and mighty sea;
This heaving, troubled heart will rest forever
In the still waters of eternity.