Monday, July 30, 2007

Brighten the Corner Where You Are

Do songs ever jump out of your memory and hit you between the eyes? ("eyes" is "een" in Ulster-Scots). It happens me all the time, wee songs and melodies and words that I've neither heard nor sung in donkeys years, but all of a sudden they jump up out of nowhere. In many cases I find that the words are perfectly timed to teach me a lesson.

Well, after all our (very enjoyable) globetrotting over to Washington DC for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival a wheen o weeks ago, and having met, sung and witnessed to many hundreds of people, as I was comin back hame on the plane, another wee Sunday School song came into ma heid:

"Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,
Do not wait to shed your light afar,
To the many duties ever near you now be true,
Brighten the corner where you are..."

(It was written in the USA by a woman called Ina Mae Duley Ogdon [1872-1964]. She also wrote the classic "Living Where the Healing Waters Flow")

So I felt more than a wee bit admonished by that. I've been wondering if the four of us would have been as motivated to play 21 1 hour concerts in Ballyhalbert, as we were about playing 21 1 hour concerts in America.

"Here for all your talent you may surely find a need,
Here reflect the bright and Morning Star;
Though into one heart alone may fall your song of cheer,
Brighten the corner where you are..."

Every day's a school day. We're always learning lessons.


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