Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Soul Music.

play it again sam 2

In one of the older churches there was this really cool old pump organ that you played by moving your feet in a pedalling motion using your feet.  We snuck in every chance we got and fought over who got to play it.  We became experts at speed playing because we have about 9.5 seconds before an adult would appear and bellow  "WHAT DO YOU KIDS THINK YOU ARE DOING?"


play it again sam 1


Not sure why parents always wanted to know that.  Did we look like we didn't know what we were doing?  Just because we were doing something that meant we were going to hell ... let me be clear .. We KNEW what we were doing.  In this instance, we were playing the church organ that we had been told to leave alone a thousand times.

As a kid, being able to pull different buttons and play a song on the pump organ was awe inspiring.   Not for anyone listening to me, but in my own mind.

I think it was one of the key moments in the creating of a legend.

I taught myself to play it.

Back then, my aspirations were to be able to play a hymn for a church service.  I was heady with the whole idea of the power of that moment.  Yes , on the prairies, being able to play a church organ got you lots of props.  I owned that whole church when I played that thing.  I rocked it.  Well, as much as anyone could rock "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" when we had never even seen a soul brother or sister who taught the world how to rock hymns.   I did it in a plaid, white bread, red neck kind of way.  If cowboys and farmers shuffle their feet at all or even sway a tad .. THAT is OUR rhythm.

It was one of those experiences that was epic when I was planning it, but the carrying out of it in reality was deeply disappointing ... and kind of disturbing.

The music director held up her hands, she nodded her head and I began to play and I could hear the people behind me begin to sing.

I use the term "sing" very loosely.

I have a personal relationship with God.  I know he is tone deaf.  I also know he loves people in spite of the fact they make dogs howl.

Friends should not let friends sing when they are nowhere even close to being completely off key.  I am not sure there were any keys in some of those people lives, let alone around them for the song.  I am not even sure they were singing the same song I was playing.    The singing was even worse than elementary kids doing "Row Row Row Your Boat" on their recorders or their band playing "There's a Hole Iin The Bucket."

By the second verse I was crying.  My grandparents were never more proud of me.  Imagine a child so moved by the music that she was weeping.  If there had been You Tube, someone would have had me viral in no time.  I had to settle for being the talk of the combine shop for a week.

Our kids will grow up and look back on their lives and talk about how they were worshipped by the whole world for 15 minutes when they flashed their naked naughty bits or ate a live frog on a dare, or jumped off a mountain with a pillow case and lived to tell the tale, or wrote words on a piece of paper saying they were bullied.   Our kids will have amazing stories complete with technology and evidence to showcase the whole event.  They will be filtered and gauzed and look good. 

I have a lame story about playing a pump organ and crying on the prairies of Canada for a bunch of old people who couldn't sing.  I have tried to jazz it up with puppets and nifty refreshments.

Some things cannot be jazzed or niftied.

play it again sam 3


I think there is a reason young people look at old people and think they are weenies.

I am pretty convinced I am a weenie myself.


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