Sacred Harp 61: ‘Sweet Rivers’

Sweet rivers of redeeming love
Lie just before mine eye,
Had I the pinions of a dove
I’d to those rivers fly;
I’d rise superior to my pain,
With joy outstrip the wind,
I’d cross o’er Jordan’s stormy waves,
And leave the world behind.

A few more days, or years at most,
My troubles will be o’er;
I hope to join the heav’nly host
On Canaan’s happy shore.
My raptured soul shall drink and feast
In love’s unbounded sea:
The glorious hope of endless rest
Is ravishing for me.

Sacred Harp 178: ‘Africa’

Now shall my inward joys arise,
And burst into a song;
Almighty love inspires my heart,
And pleasure tunes my tongue.

God, on His thirsty Zion’s hill,
Some mercy drops has thrown;
And solemn oaths have bound His love
To show’r salvation down.

Why do we then indulge our fears,
Suspicions and complaints?
Is He a God, and shall His grace
Grow weary of His saints?

The Benedict Option for the underground

The last bit from David Keenan’s piece, “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” in the January issue of The Wire:

“We need a new art that is almost sociopathic in its evasion, in its willingness not to be liked; a non-consensual art that refuses to market itself, that negates that old art world and free music chestnut about creating a space where dialogue can take place. At this point we need to shut down dialogue, halt conversation, put down the iPhone. We need a ruthlessly stratified, exclusionary, hermetic, refusenik art, one that takes its form and its content from the precise, awkward, barely translatable contours of the persons making it as opposed to a happy-clappy magpie approach to SoundCloud mixes, YouTube clips and rips of obscure vinyl. These days we are all fans … and music made by fans ends up uninteresting. Or at least unchallenging, and somehow subservient to our fandom. We need critics, too, who aren’t afraid to be unpopular, to be actually critical, and to write for the good of the culture rather than for the validation of their would-be friendship circle.

The future of underground music exists in the margins, in the one-offs. It’s time for lone voices, barely decipherable ones, in fact. The underground has disappeared but somewhere out there solitary cells are forming. Next time around, the revolution will not be liked, retweeted, favourited or followed back. In 2014 the underground is dead. Long live the underground.”

They aren’t underground by any stretch, but I feel like it would be somehow negligent of me not to note that The Band Perry played in the new Congress this afternoon.

Sacred Harp 283b: ‘Am I A Soldier? (Ortonville)’

Am I a soldier of the cross,
A foll’wer of the Lamb?
And shall I fear to own His cause,
Or blush to speak His name?

Must I be carried to the skies
On flow’ry beds of ease?
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas!

Are there no foes for me to face?
Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace,
To help me on to God?

Sure I must fight, if I would reign;
Increase my courage, Lord!
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by Thy word.

Thy saints, in all this glorious war,
Shall conquer, though they die;
They see the triumph from afar
And seize it with their eye.

When that illustrious day shall rise,
And all Thine armies shine,
In robes of vict’ry through the skies,
The glory shall be Thine.

Sacred Harp 401: ‘Cuba’

Go, preachers, and tell it to the world,
Poor mourners found a home at last.

Through free grace and a dying Lamb,
Poor mourners found a home at last.

Go, fathers, and tell it to the world,
Poor mourners found a home at last.

Go, mothers, and tell it to the world,
Poor mourners found a home at last.

The lady and I went to the FSGW’s New Year’s Day sing in Alexandria this week, which was small but lots of fun.