My Musical Roots

Today I had the urge to put on the video from when my folks and I went to the Stamps Baxter School of Music back in 1998. When Marc saw the video and saw me up there conducting he made some comment about that not being the person he married. It probably was the person he married, but it’s certainly not the person I am now. My musical interests have certainly changed, but I can’t deny that southern gospel music is my musical heritage. And so tonight I have spent a good hour on YouTube randomly finding songs, (of course) remembering all of the words, and remembering so many moments.

Moments like when I sang this song (soundtrack and all) to my grade 1 class:

(I wonder if Madeline will look back on all of the times we’ve gotten her to sing Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”  between the ages of 3 and 6 and wonder what her parents were thinking, just like I do! I don’t think any child should know the phrase “unmerited favour” at age 6.)

And then there was the time in 1997 when I met Vestal Goodman and told her what a good impression I do of her, especially to this song:

Also in 1997 was my first kiss (not to Marc) which occurred with not only this song, but this exact version of the song on in the background:

Beautiful, beautiful song with such an unfortunate, unfortunate memory attached to it. (I just checked with Marc to make sure he knew that particular memory of mine and wouldn’t read it for the first time on the blog.)

The other thing I reminded him of tonight (and which he says he would’ve like to have known before we married) was that when I was in high school a lot of evenings I would dress up and stand in front of the mirror and lipsync to records (actual LPs) of the Bill Gaither Trio. You have to keep in mind this was the days of Pearl Jam, Nirvana, REM, and Alanis and I was singing my heart out to this kind of stuff from circa 1982:

Now, we won’t get into my whole Gaither obsession. But there are some very good memories. I remember laying on the couch in the family room at my house and listening to this song (not this version) over and over again. It’s the first time I remember being moved to tears by the hope of Jesus. I think I was about 12 or 13. (The song starts at around 2:25.)

And one song that still moves me is this last one. Bill and Gloria wrote it. I don’t think I ever sang it with my parents at church, I think I just imagined doing it (and practiced it in front of the mirror). But the words get me.

I believe. Help thou my unbelief. I take the finite risk of trusting like a child.
I believe. Help thou my unbelief. I walk into the unknown trusting all the while.
I long so much to feel the warmth that others seem to know.
But should I never feel a thing, I claim Him even so.

I think that says it all right there — about life and death and wisdom and uncertainty and faith. And while this is no longer the kind of music I put on in the day, there was something nice and real listening to these songs tonight, thinking about where I’ve come from, and knowing those songs are still in me — each and every word — no matter how many years it’s been.

Posted in Entertainment, Life, Memories | 6 Comments

6 Responses to My Musical Roots

  1. Jean H. says:

    Well, Dixie, I don’t mean to knock your styles of music, BUT, I , too grew up in a very musical family. My Dad was a professional musician and played
    fourteen different instruments. He taught me and my two brothers much about music. I grew up appreciating various styles of music, but, ugh, Dixie, I have no use for contemporary, hard rock, heavy metal,rap, etc. You know what I mean. I grew to love country and country gospel from my hubby AND I dearly love Southern Gospel. I do enjoy hearing you sing and play. I guess this is what makes the world go round, eh? Variety. Cheers.

  2. It’s funny, Jean, because, like you I’m not a fan of hard rock, heavy metal, rap, and almost all contemporary music. The stuff I put on to listen to now is generally folk music and usually older than the Gaither stuff I used to listen to all the time! Funny how styles and preferences change!

  3. Toni says:

    “You have to keep in mind this was the days of Pearl Jam, Nirvana, REM, and Alanis and I was singing my heart out to this kind of stuff from circa 1982:”

    I can’t blame you for that: on balance I’d have struggled with which to choose, although, unlike JH up there, I’d have sat firmly in the hard rock camp (hard rock by the standards of the 70s/80s, rather than the bizarre stuff people scream these days).

    Unfortunately none of the vids will play for me, which is curious, but probably for the best. 😉

  4. Toni says:

    Ah – just got “I believe” to play. Sounds like (both music and arrangement of words) the sort of thing I might have heard occasionally while growing up in a baptist church in the 1960s. The country side of things is fairly heavily suppressed and there’s a real WW II era turn to the phrasing here and there. Particularly in the “but should I never feel the things, I claim them even so” is straight out of that genre. I can hear those turnarounds coming from little tin shacks with half a dozen people and a piano in with my memory.

  5. Dubbl D says:

    And just last night M & were recalling, literally on the fly, the lyrics to Silverwind’s “A New Beginning”, and we each had strong memories of the song from totally different sources. I, of course, had the original LP & cassette as mine. And then, earlier in the evening, I had the song from the Rocky IV soundtrack where he is training in Siberia going through my headphones.

    Anyways, back to today.

  6. Carissa says:

    What did Vestal Goodman say when you told her you did a good impression of her? 🙂 I’m enjoying these clips! 🙂

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