Friday, March 16, 2018

Are You Tired of Chasing Pretty Rainbows?

This cherubic Swedish-American gospel singer, Evie Tornquist, introduced me to this lovely little song. I've played guitar for other singers for church services over the years and it was a favorite we sang for youth song services. This is another one that makes me all weepy. Here's "Give Them All to Jesus".


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Molly Malone

This old folk song shows up a lot in the folk singer community, especially among Irish folk singers. But sometimes pop singers pull up an old folk tune and red-headed comedian Danny Kaye used to sing songs like Molly Malone in his movies and radio appearances. He had that lovely Irish tenor voice that set these songs perfectly.

I especially like poignant sweet melodies like this one. I think it probably inspired The Beatles song, Obla Di, Obla Da which also features a barrow wheeling daughter of fish-mongers. Danny Kaye movies are some of my favorites, but I love listening to him sing too. There's another Danny Kaye melody by his wife Sylvia Fine called Darlin MeggieI had to go to the Library of Congress to get that video. Enjoy these two beautiful songs.

Tom King

Friday, March 9, 2018

Just As I Am - Michael W. Smith

This lovely old song by Charlotte Elliott with music by William B. Bradbury was originally written in 1835 and published in 1836 in a hymnal she edited. Charlotte related later that she was troubled about her own salvation. She often comforted herself by writing verse. She took pen and paper from a nearby table and deliberately set down to write what she later called "the formulae of her faith." In this familiar altar call hymn, Charlotte restated the Gospel of pardon, peace, and heaven.

I remember this hymn fondly from the ministry of former Voice of Prophecy Quartet singer, John Thurber. Brother John taught his Adventist Youth in Action (AYA) teams and the kids who came to youth meetings how to sing this song. He always got amazing harmony out of us. This song in particular used to really reach me.

On May 1, 1971, Brother John baptized me in the swimming pool at Jefferson Academy - Just as I was.  Here's Michael W. Smith's rendition of this lovely hymn at the funeral of Billy Graham. This song was the altar call at the 1934 revival meeting at which Billy Graham came forward and was converted. The song became Graham's traditional altar call song throughout his career as an evangelist.


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Love is a Verb

This unusual song by John Mayer flies in the face of the romantic poets.
Love to Mayer is something you do, not something you can hold on to or something that just magically pop up in your heart. It's not a feeling that you can capture like you could scoop up a butterfly with a net.

CS Lewis captured this idea in his book Mere Christianity.
“Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.”

About the only iteration of love as a "thang," that I think is accurate, is something the apostle John pointed out in one of his letters. "God," he said, "is love". All love springs from the author of love and is the wellspring of all love in the universe. There are some preachers and romantics who will argue with you that love is a "thang," but I think they miss the point. Love it seems springs from an act. It's not some magical thing that occurs when a pretty girl in a skimpy bathing suit walks by on the beach or a muscled up young man removes his shirt while repairing your porch. I think they're thinking of another "L" word besides love.

Tom King

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Grow Old Along With Me

It's kind of ironic that one of the last of John Lennon's songs was this lovely ballad, "Grow Old Along With Me" in which he prays "God bless our love."
  This is the same guy who wrote the anti-religion "Imagine".  One hopes John was able to work it all out with his maker at some point. That said, Grow Old is a very beautiful song. This version is by Mary Chapin Carpenter. The only versions we of of Lennon singing it, are some home recordings which suffer a little from the poorer quality of home recording equipment of the day. 

This is a beautiful song. Perfect for weddings. It's sad that Lennon was looking forward to growing old along with his wife and died very soon after he wrote it.


Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Hand Song

My son, Micah introduced me to this Nickel Creek song. The lyrics are beautiful and this song always makes me mist up a little bit. I'm not sure even now, as many times as I've listened to it, that I could sing it all the way through without getting all choked up.  The Hand Song is one of those poignant folk songs that is beyond the typical murder ballad, folk hero song or the "I love her so much I want to lock her up inside a box and not let her out" sort of twisted love songs you find in mountain music.  This song is lyrical and beautiful.

© 2018 by Tom King

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Mississippi Squirrel Revival

This one is one of my favorite Ray Stevens songs and that's saying something given that he also wrote the hilarious Shriner's Convention.  We've all known a Sister-Bertha-Better'n-You in our time and the spectacle of her standing up in meetin' and confessing about her "love life" and "namin' names" is just too appealing an image. This thing is funny right here, I don't care who you are. This is also on my phone.