Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Low in the Grave

This song makes me think of my dad, who would make us sing the first verse softly and then JUMP up during the chorus.

His own experience with the song is this: Dr. Jim Blackmore, one of my seminary professors. He was from very humble beginnings in Warsaw, NC. He had been to Southern [Seminary] and was at Edinburgh, Scotland when WWII started. At least the US involvement. He joined the service there as a chaplin and was not required to go to basic training. He served through the war and finished his Doctorate at Edinburgh after the war. 

He was a small man, no more than 5'6". He told us the story of  singing this song with his brother when they were about 8 or 10 years old. They would squat with arms stretched in front of them, then at the "Up" they would jump up and stand with arms out stretched to the side. What a riot to see him demonstrate for the class when he was in his 70s.

I introduced this song to the congregation I serve a few years ago. We crouch low in the verses and JUMP during the chorus- everyone who physically can, does. 

There are, then, people who will associate memories of this song with me. 

I think of my dad. 

He thinks of Dr. Blackmore, who would think of his brother. 

They, presumably, learned the song from someone else. 

And so goes the communion and community of Christ, connected in song and body through time.

Beyond the history of this song, someone always thinks of the person who revealed the love of God in Christ to them. 

All the way back it goes until the rhythm  of the song is the pounding feet of Mary Magdalene and others- running to say, "We have seen the Lord!" 

1 comment:

Moogan said...

I look forward to this every Easter, and will certainly get the people in my row hiding and jumping! Thanks for sharing it with us!