Wednesday, August 17, 2016


Debra, She Who Seeks, wrote a post about Hymns.  

The absolute only thing I find good about religion is the music it has spawned.   From classical, to gospel, to country, to hill music, to conventional church hymns, religion has been the basis for beautiful expression, regardless of the emptiness of its meaning.  

Religious music just plain makes people feel better; the beats, rhymes and melodies are good listening.  A true art form.  

Spending my earliest years in Kentucky I was aware of a rural American church music known as Shape Note or Sacred Harp Singing.    

This music sprang from the hills of Appalachia.  It was contrived for people who could not read music and even for people who could not read.   There are many versions of Shape Note Singing with melody runs from four note singing to seven note singing. Each note is given a specific shape and sound.  First the sound of the notes are sung and then the words of the song are substituted.   The last shape note singing my wife and I attended was in the town of Marion, Kentucky back in the late 1980.   

Even if you are not religious, religious music can feed your soul.

Sacred Harp: an original American art form. 

Just one example


  1. Very Nice.

    I am reminded of a bike ride back in the 1990s. I remember it well only because of the church music I came upon as I passed a local church in Lebanon, Maine. It was a beautiful warm summer Sunday morning. Just as I rode next to the church, the choir began to sing. I was so impressed, I stopped and stood astride my bike on the soft dirt shoulder and let their wonderful voices wash over me. It was awesome.

  2. I live near St. Anselm's College in New Hampshire. Sunday night mass during the school year is wonderful because of the choir - it's inspiring.

  3. Oh, I've heard of this before! It's fascinating. And you're right about many church hymns being catchy tunes -- it's why the union movement stole so many of them for their use and changed the words! The IWW "Little Red Song Book" is full of them!

  4. I still love the old rugged cross.

  5. I have to agree about the music. For years it was all that kept me in church


COMMENT: Ben Franklin said, "I imagine a man must have a good deal of vanity who believes, and a good deal of boldness who affirms, that all doctrines he holds are true, and all he rejects are false."