Saturday, July 5, 2014


We seldom become personal on this blog. I have a for fun blog where I do that, but none of us does that here. This is an exception.

Bruce would never tell you this story. I will. If he doesn't like it, he can delete the post. When I was very young I attended a meeting with Bruce and his wife (We'll call her Aunt S. here). The song I've posted below was called and the congregation sang it. B forgot his songbook. He claims a very poor memory. (as if!) But he was singing it from memory. Except his memory took him back to this songbook and these words, drawing a puzzled look from Aunt S. and me and - well - everyone around him. It was funny. Enjoy the old version.


Andrew said...

Thanks for bringing back some very special memories. I used to play the piano at the Kingdom Hall in the 1970s and 1980s, and I remember we used to play that extra music before the last stanza. Listen carefully and you will hear that interlude between the second and third stanzas.

A sister I played the piano with at the meetings recently passed away. She starting playing piano and organ at the Bible Student Meetings in the 1920s, she played at over fifty weddings (including mine), and played her last song at the Kingdom Hall just a few years ago (2011) when the CD player broke before the meeting. (She pounded the keys a bit harder than usual, no doubt to remind everyone that she did not agree with eliminating live music from the meetings.) She used to play at district conventions and circuit assemblies as well.

She often would surprise and delight older brothers and sisters by playing songs what were found in songbooks from the 1920s and 1930s. There is something about music that stays with a person their whole life!

She played music at meeting in ten different decades (count 'em!) and lived to be nearly 100 years of age. I had the privilege of playing at her funeral, and the service ended with song 111, her favorite song from the new songbook.


roberto said...

Thanks Sha'el for the nice story. I smiled imagining the scene. Bruce please don't delete this post.

And thanks Andrew for the memory of the old sister.

Miquel Angel Plaza-Navas said...

Andrew, I would be interested to know the name of this sister. I wrote a work about our songbooks for the university, and I would like to know more things about her life.

Miquel Angel Plaza-Navas

Ī¤heTrumpetSeventh said...

Perfect post and very nice story Andrew too!
I am a collector of old songbooks and a pianist as well. I know how to play all the old songs even going back to Russell's days. I have written about our old songs too and the changes they had or the differences in musical keys.
Sometimes the old brothers like to sing some old songs.My favourite old song was one I found it he hymns of the millenial Dawn songbook ,named "Blessed Bible" . This was one of brother Russell's favourite too.We still sing it in slightly different music as song number 37

Andrew said...


Her name was Bernice, and she lived in the Midwest. She was indeed a very interesting person. If you could provide me your email address here, I would be glad to correspond with you and tell you more.