Friday, January 7, 2011

Singing in the Backseat

My father's youngest sister came to visit last night and brought her guitar and song books. We sat for 2 1/2 hrs and sang as many songs as we could. Matthew, our second son, plays too so it was nice to have two guitarists. We sang some new songs but mostly old hymns and country songs everything from In the Garden to My D-I-V-O-R-C-E by Tammy Wynette. We sang Delta Dawn, Tom Dooly, and many others that the kids hadn't heard but that Weasie and I belted out. And of course we had to get her to sing I've Been Everywhere. She's amazing singing that.

The whole evening brought back a flood of memories for me of my childhood of before my aunt was even married and still living in my grandmother's home. On Sunday afternoons we would all gather at Nanny's house and Weasie and her brother Herbie would get out the guitars and for hours would sing and sing. We kids grew up learning to sing all the old country 'story' songs. Anything that had a story we would love. 'My Coat of Many Colours' could bring tears, 'Tom Dooly' could stir us up. But it was always a good time. No one was ever told they couldn't sing. It didn't matter if you could or not. You were just singing for the joy of singing.

When we would have to pile in the car and head for home the music didn't stop. I had a song book scribbler that I had written down most of the lyrics for the songs we loved and my sisters and I would sing all the way home. We loved singing 'Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves' except when Melanie, being the youngest, would sing Gypsies, Contact-C. (Why I'll never know).

Our singing not only made a very long trip seem shorter but it engraved memories into our minds that we have all carried since. When my children were born I began singing to them in the car whenever we had to go somewhere, whether it was a long trip or just a trip to the grocery store. We would sing mostly hymns but the old songs from Nanny's living room would come out too. Delta Dawn and Cotton Ginny and other story songs.

The Bible says to "make a joyful noise" Psalm 100:1 aren't you glad it doesn't say 'make a good noise'? I am. When people tell me they can't sing, I know that what they are really saying is 'someone told me once I can't sing and now I won't'. Don't let people discourage you from doing something the Lord wants you to do. Make a joyful noise! Sing songs of praise, sing story songs to carry on memories, sing, sing, sing.

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