Thursday, August 21, 2008

Like Pulling Teeth...

The plaintive question, "What's wrong with those people?", has probably been asked by church organists ever since the invention of the church organ. "Those people", of course, refers to the members of the congregation, and the "what's wrong" part refers to another question... "why in hell aren't they singing???" With regards to singing in church, I've always been a strong believer in the old saying, "He/She who sings, prays twice." Now, I'm not a praying woman, but, nevertheless, I feel raising one's voice in praise of The Eternal One is one of the most uplifting and energizing things a person can do. I've always been a big fan of Anglican Hymns - I love their British Swagger, wonderful melodies and lofty words. I like Gospel music too, but the only church jobs I've had have been for predominately white congregations, and, another "true-ism" among church organists is that trying to get a bunch of white folks to sing anything even remotely resembling Gospel is a waste of time and energy. The newest music I've been obliged to play in church is something called "Praise Music." This stuff is schlocky crap. I can hardly stand any it, but I play it because I'm paid to play it. I do try to give it my best effort, and have to admit, every once in a while, I find a rocking piece that I come close to liking - as in
Jesus Is The Rock and He Rolls My Blues Away.  Most white folk actually like that song, and sing it as though they mean it - some, amazingly enough, even clap, switch their hips, snap their fingers, and jive a little. For the most part, and most of the time, though, no matter what I'm playing, I feel as though I'm pulling the congregation along by the nose through lukewarm taffy. After last Sunday's attempt to lead the congregtants in an up-tempo song, I was inspired to create this journal page:


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