Monday, May 25, 2015

Musically-minded quotes

Sacred Harp

"If God didn't want this, he would have cut it off way back then." -- Dewey Williams

"Sacred Harp music is defiantly old-school." -- unknown

“It’s different from mainstream church music. It’s primitive, enticing and ethereal, all at the same time. It’s a very powerful form of worship.” -- Renè Greene

"...the powerful and sometimes sorrowful old sounds of Sacred Harp are alien to modern progress and prosperity which does its best to ignore the harsher aspects of life and death..." -- F. E. Abernethy

"You don't get harmony when everybody sings the same note." -- Doug Floyd

"Music is a sensation of pleasure produced in the mind by means of sounds." -- Elam Ives, Jr.

"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." -- Berthold Auerbach

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Inappropriate dress?

On Yahoo Parenting, writer Rachel Bertsche asked, Should This High Schooler Have Been Suspended for Her 'Inappropriate' Dress?

Both the student and the author Bertsche elevate how the student feels above the school's rules. "Reay admits that her dress may have been an inch or two short of that, but says she was focused on wearing a dress that made her feel like she could conquer the world."

The proper question is not whether the student violated the rules, but whether the rule is appropriate or should be changed. The student clearly DID violate the dress code. The school's dress code (p. 16 ) states that "Skirts, dresses, or other similar attire must extend at least to the top of the knee cap, from the front and from the back." Bertsche points out that the student's dress “passes many schools’ 'fingertip rule'” and “is hardly inappropriate.” Whether Bertsche thinks the dress is appropriate or whether it doesn't violate some other school's rules is immaterial. The picture on the Yahoo Parenting page makes it clear that it did violate the rules of the school where the student attended. Dress code's are always questionable -- especially in how consistently they are applied -- but once a school adopts a dress code that is satisfactory to the community, students should comply with it. If the community is not satisfied with it, they should seek to get it changed. What they should not do is seek to encourage students to violate it.

There are certainly some technical issues in this incident that are questionable -- for example, whether the teacher or school allowed her mother the opportunity to bring appropriate clothing. But in the end it seems the student was suspended for her insubordination rather than her clothing. It's not clear, but she may have also violated the cell phone policy. 

Nevertheless, I think that this and other similar recent incidents signal the rampant modern belief that people should be able to do what they feel like, rules be damned. The writer ends her piece by quoting the student, "...all women need to realize that they should wear what they feel good in." But the simple fact is that we cannot go the route that always allows all, whether men or women, to "wear what they feel good in."

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Great Day, Judge Falkner

Falkerner, Judge. The song The Great Day was added to The Sacred Harp in 1860 (p. 386). It was composed by J. P. Rees. It originally had 5 stanzas "as sung by Judge Falkerner" of Alabama (whether or not the stanzas were actually written by him). "Judge Falkerner of Ala" is probably Thomas Jefferson Falkner. He was the son of Job Falkner and Mary Gulledge, born April 22, 1810 in Jasper County, Georgia and died April 22, 1895/6 in Montgomery, Alabama. One of his markers in the Marbury Baptist Church Cemetery (Autauga County, Alabama) reads "Rev. Judge Falkner April 1810 April 1896 A Baptist Minister & One of Gods Greatest." He was a lawyer, judge, Baptist preacher and held several offices in Alabama – including Senator. During the War Between the States he was a Lieutenant Colonel of the 8th Confederate Cavalry. "He was fully allied to the Democratic party." [Note: this song was replaced by Carry Me Home in 1902 and does not appear in any Cooper editions of The Sacred Harp. Nevertheless I found this man while researching other Sacred Harp composers and decided to include this information about him. The tune was removed from the Denson book in 1936 and then returned (with alto added) in 1966.]

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Rest for the Weary

McDonald, William (March 1, 1820—September 11, 1901) was the son of Joseph McDonald and Mary Wilson, born in Belmont, Waldo County, Maine. He was a preacher, writer, composer and editor. He became a preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1839. McDonald served churches in Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York and Massachusetts, as well as Appleton, Wisconsin. He was admitted to the Maine Conference in 1843. In 1855 he transferred to Wisconsin and pastored at Appleton. He was well remembered there; someone writing 50 years later described McDonald as "...the most eloquent preacher that ever filled an Appleton pastorate." He joined the New England Conference in 1859. He was an active member of the National Holiness Association, serving as both Vice-President (1868—1884) and President (1884—1893). He was also editor of the Advocate of Bible Holiness from 1870 to 1894. Within this movement he "urged Holiness adherents to remain faithful to Methodism" and "vigorously opposed the growing movement to organize independent Holiness churches." McDonald was editor of several songbooks, including the Wesleyan Minstrel, the Wesleyan Sacred Harp, the American Hymn & Tune Book, and Tribute of Praise. The latter book, co-compiled with L. F. Snow, became the basis for the 1882 official hymnal of the Methodist Protestant Church. McDonald married Frances Jordan. They are buried at the Forest Hills Cemetery at Jamaica Plain in Suffolk County, Massachusetts. In The Melodeon by J. W. Dadmun (see Steel, p. 102) the song Rest for the Weary (p. 18) is attributed to "Revs. W. McD. and J. W. D." John Julian credits the original poetry to Samuel Young Harmer, stating is was "slightly altered, and set to music by the Rev. W. McDonald of Boston, Massachusetts." If correct, taken with Dadmun's attribution, this may suggest that McDonald was the original composer and that Dadmun arranged it.
474       Rest for the Weary

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Golden Wedding.

A Golden Wedding.
  On Tuesday ult., the golden wedding
of Maj. B. F. White and Thurza White was
celebrated at their residence in DeKalb
county, this State. Many valuable presents
were made by the children and grand-children
of the aged couple. A large number of
friends partook of a sumptuous dinner. Maj.
White is the author of the Sacred Harp.
Among those present were thirty-four grand-
children, of which number our Mr. Byrd con-
tributed eleven. A still longer life to the
oldest couple in DeKalb.
Atlanta Sunday Herald, Jan. 11, 1874 -- page 8

Grace quotes

G.R.A.C.E. -- God's riches at Christ's expense (unknown)

"I would far rather convey grace than explain it." -- Philip Yancey

"Grace is ‘the last best word,’ the only unsullied theological word remaining in our language." -- Philip Yancey

Grace first contrived the way
To save rebellious man;
And all the steps that grace display
Which drew the wondrous plan.
Philip Doddridge

"Grace is love that cares and stoops and rescues." -- John Stott

"By the grace of God I am what I am." -- Paul

"My grace is sufficient for thee." -- God

Sunday, May 17, 2015

High in Yonder Realms of Light

The hymn below was written by Thomas Raffles (1788-1863). According to John Julian's Dictionary of Hymnology, it was first published in the Supplement to the Evangelical Magazine for December 1808, and then in William B. Collyer's Collection in 1812. It originally had six 8-line stanzas. It was sung at his funeral.

1. High in yonder realms of light
Dwell the raptured saints above,
Far beyond our feeble sight,
Happy in Immanuel's love.

2. Pilgrims in this vale of tears,
Once they knew, like us below,
Gloomy doubts, distressing fears,
Torturing pain, and heavy woe.

3. But, these days of weeping o'er,
Past this scene of toil and pain,
They shall feel distress no more,
Never--never weep again.

4. ‘Mid the chorus of the skies,
‘Mid th’angelic lyres above,
Hark--their songs melodious rise,
Songs of praise to Jesus' love!

5. Happy Spirits! ye are fled
Where no grief can entrance find:
Lulled to rest the aching head,
Soothed the anguish of the mind.

6. Every tear is wiped away--
Sighs no more shall heave the breast;
Night is lost in endless day--
Sorrow, in eternal rest.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Ernst Friedrich and Carry Me Home

Friedrich, Ernst (September 1872—August 24, 1932) was born in Ohio, the son of [Name unknown] and Catherine Friedrich, who emigrated to the U.S. from Germany in 1852. He married Rose Wirth in 1905 and they had two children, Ernst Jr. and Alma. He worked as a typesetter in 1900, learning the trade circa 1895 at Franklin Type Foundry. He is listed in the 1910 census as a "Printer" at a "Music house" and in 1920 as a "Music Printer." At least from circa 1918 to 1922 (and probably longer) he worked for the Armstrong Printing Company, a Cincinnati printer who specialized in shape note song books. With Frank J. Reis, he sang the duet that W. M. Cooper used to arrange the tune on page 386 of The Sacred Harp, Revised and Improved, 1902. Ernst and Rose are buried in the Vine Street Hill Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio.
386      Carry Me Home (“as sung by” w/Frank J. Reis)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Frank Reis and Carry Me Home

Reis, Frank J. (January 1862—Janurary 12, 1929) was the son of Xavier Francis Reis and Helena Sutterer. They immigrated to the United States from Baden, Germany in 1853, and Frank was born in Ohio. Frank Reis married Mary Meineke (1861—1927) circa 1885. She was also born in Germany. He worked as a typesetter from 1880 through 1900 (based on censuses). In 1910 he was described as a "Printer" in the industry of "Music." In 1920 he is occupation is a "Prop" (proprietor?) of a Music Printing Company. Frank and Mary are buried in the Vine Street Hill Cemetery in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio. With Ernst Friedrich, also a Cincinnati music typesetter, he sang the duet that W. M. Cooper used to arrange the tune on page 386 of The Sacred Harp, Revised and Improved, 1902. Cooper had the song book printed in Cincinnati, so may have became acquainted with them and their song through that process.
386      Carry Me Home (“as sung by” w/Ernst Friedrich)

Constitutional Convention and other links

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