Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Thursday, June 19, 2008

More on Aunt Annie

My niece told me told something that she thought was amazing about Aunt Annie. The fact that Aunt Annie could sing any hymn they asked her to sing from memory.

I wrote her a response about that tid-bit, and my response may sound a bit self paternizing but I do not mean it to be. However, in this day and age is must seem amazing for anyone to know the words to the old hymns of the church or even to know one old hymn besides Amazing Grace.

Here's what my response to her was: I didn’t know that about Aunt Annie, but then I personally wouldn’t have thought that was so special as my mom and dad could do that too.

Now, my kids and people in our weekly Bible study think it’s amazing that I can sing any song in the hymnal and not only that, I know which page they’re on as well! Not bragging or anything. And the page they’re on? Oh, it has to be the correct hymnal – in other words the one we used at church when I was growing up. I was red and said Church Hymns on the front of it. Nothing fancy there. I still have a copy of that hymn book. Alan uses it for his devotions a lot because he doesn’t remember the words to hymns like I do. Sometimes, he’ll ask what the title of something is, if he’s getting the first line wrong or something.

What gets me now, though, is that I hear a tune in my head and can’t think of the first line. Or I’ll think of a hymn, get to the third verse and my mind goes blank. I really, really hate that. It keeps me awake at night. Then I think, I can
Google it, and find out what the words are. Most of the old hymns are on line. I haven't found any that weren't.

Back to the present. Some day just take the time to look up some of the old hymns on line. Remember Sunday I wrote about God of our Fathers? Well, I couldn't remember all the verses so I made sure I got the words correct for the whole hymn. There's a lot of good theology in those hymns if you think about it. And some bad, I'm sure. The point is, the old hymns had tunes and I think that's one thing that made them to memorable to many of us older people.

To my niece: I'll bet your dad can sing the words to all the hymns like Aunt Annie could, he just wanted you to find something unique about her so you would want to go back and visit her again and again. To me Aunt Annie's uniqueness was her patience with all us children and the fact that she never seemed to become agitated when we were tearing (literally) through the photo albums she so wonderfully kept on hand for us to see.


Lori said...

Actually dad never mentioned that to me about Aunt Anne. When we would take her to grandpa's church with us, I would stand next to her and just marvel that she could do that. To a 10 yr old or an 8 yr old, that was so cool! I know that there are probably lots of people who can do it, but when I was a kid, I thought it was so awesome! But, that's not the reason I thought she was so fun. She was always great with us. Laughed all the time. She would tell us funny stories and never made us feel inferior, just because we were kids. She was a really great lady. Oh, and I didn't think you sounded self-patronizing at all. :-) I totally got what you were saying. And, next time I'm at church, I'll see if dad sings with his hymnal or not. :-)

Judi Hahn said...

I'm just too lazy to use the hymnal so if I miss a few words, I just wing it. But mostly I don't need a hymnal. Does your church use hynmals? Ours doesn't. They have them available, but never use them. They never even sing the songs that are in them. It's always some new song that's typed out and shown on a screen. I prefer the old hymns and the harmony of them.

Lori said...

Our first service is traditional and they sing out of hymnals, but they're all weird hymns that I've never heard of. I actually hate the music they choose at our church. The second service has the worship songs on the overhead. I like it at dad's church, because they do both. They sing great hymns in the beginning and also have a worship song time later in the service. If you ever get a chance, you should go to one of dad's services. He's so self-depricating, but he really is a wonderful preacher.

Judi Hahn said...

I have to agree about your father's preaching. I have heard it, albeit it was when you were in Royal Center. Perhaps when we get to Emily's wedding, we'll get to church on Sunday. We're planning on it, anyway.