Thanksgiving Music #1


I’d like to start my series with this video compilation. Its opening number is “Count Your Blessings (instead of sheep)”, sung by Bing Crosby in the movie White Christmas.

As of the time I put this up, video two in the playlist isn’t available anymore, so you’ll have to hit the forward button to get to the rest of the playlist.

The Bing Crosby song is a wonderful Irving Berlin song reminding us of how many things we have to be thankful for. But it doesn’t really touch true thankfulness. It takes the hymns in #3 and #4 to get us into the real theme of Thankfulness.

So enjoy the entire playlist, but make sure you really listen to the final number, from Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians. If you want something with a depth of American Tradition, the Waring numbers are an excellent place to find it.

#45: Ye Servants of God, Your Master Proclaim


 (Part of a series singing through the hymnbook I grew up with: Great Hymns of the Faith)


Ye servants of God, your Master proclaim,

And publish abroad His wonderful name;

The name all-victorious of Jesus extol;

His kingdom is glorious, he rules over all.


God ruleth on high, almighty to save,

And still He is nigh – His presence we have;

The great congregation His triumph shall sing,

Ascribing salvation to Jesus our King.


“Salvation to God who sits on the throne,”

Let all cry aloud and honor the Son;

The praises of Jesus the angels proclaim,

Fall down on their faces and worship the Lamb.


Then let us adore and give Him His right –

All glory and pow’r and wisdom and might,

All honor and blessing, with angels above,

And thanks never ceasing, and infinite love.

The missing holiday season


(Note: No, I don’t intend to make a habit of posting late in the day. I am much more relaxed when I have my posts ready to go first thing in the morning. If somebody would just discuss things with life … it seems the moment I think I have space where my brain can actually think again, for a couple of days, it decides to throw another set of projects my way )

The American world seems to go straight from Halloween to Christmas. The little observance of Thanksgiving gets stuck in the middle. Since there isn’t any big retail portion associated with Thanksgiving, it tends to get overlooked and squeezed mostly out. There is a Halloween season leading up to Halloween, and a Christmas season leading up to Christmas, but no Thanksgiving season.

A similar thing could be said for music. There is Halloween music, and there are Christmas music and Christmas carols, but no one really thinks about there being any specific Thanksgiving music.

But that is where they are wrong. Actually there is quite a lot of Thanksgiving music. Oh, there are a few songs about Thanksgiving the holiday, not many, and that isn’t what I am talking about, anyway. No, there is a LOT of Thanksgiving music. We just don’t recognize it for two reasons: 1) We aren’t observant Christians and so don’t go to the places where it is sung to recognize it, or 2) We are observant Christans but don’t observe that we sing Thanksgiving music on a very regular basis as part of our worship.

Well, I’ve decided to feature some of that music. Next week I’m going to have a short series of video posts feature Thanksgiving. Part of it is to give me a quick way of putting up posts during the Thanksgiving week, but more of it is to make people aware of the music of Thanskgiving that we sing on a regular basis.

So please follow the links, enjoy the music, and comment about what you liked or didn’t about the selections offered.

A Couple of Swells


Okay, late posting, brain low on ideas, so combing to do another video post. Hitting themes of music, and the recommends jumped to Judy Garland stuff.  Here’s what I finally landed on, from Easter Parade:



Betsy and I performed this song a few years back for a church musical variety show. It was fun, but I think we could still learn a  few things from Fred and Judy about how to step out.  wardrobe now …

Choreography and Entertainment


For those of you not into Science Fiction, the events I’m thinking of might not mean much.  But I was watching Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and saw the below scene.  It suddenly dawned on me that the message of the song Choreography is the same thing the Sad Puppies have been saying about the Hugo awards. (You need to click on the playlist icon and select 8 to get Choreography. Consider the other videos a bonus, since I couldn’t get it to embed just the one song.)

I wonder if Irving Berlin had a bug about performers trying to be too serious too.

And that leads to this conclusion:

#44: And Can It Be That I Should Gain?


 (Part of a series singing through the hymnbook I grew up with: Great Hymns of the Faith)


And can it be that I should gain an int’rest in the Savior’s blood?

Died He for me, who caused His pain? For me, who Him to death pursued?


Amazing love! How can it be That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

Amazing love! How can it be That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?


He left His Father’s throne above, So free, so infinite His grace?

Emptied Himself of all but love, And bled for Adam’s helpless race.



No condemnation now I dread, I am my Lord’s and He is mine;

Alive in Him, my living Head, And clothed in Righteousness divine.


Death of a Facebook Group


Social media, in this case example Facebook, is a rather interesting beast — yes, I’ll use the word beast — with often very creature-like instincts and responses.

I’m not a big commenter on Facebook or social media. In fact, I don’t always comment very strenuously even on my blog, where I am supposed to be a straight shooter (swift and precise, after all). When I am commenting fully in public, I find myself wanting to make strong statements of fact, but always tempering them with a call of “come, let us reason together”. Certain views might be unnecessarily distracting or disrupting in a public forum, so I don’t always press those as hard as I might in a more private forum.

I am sure this is true for many other people as well. People we know in one social group might not appreciate the views in another social group we are part of, so we refrain from certain comments where the two might come into conflict. It is a natural part of regular social intercourse.

Which is also why we have more private groups or circles.  I have been invited to various ones on Facebook, private groups, even “secret groups”. I have my notification settings to get a short note everytime something posts, but I rarely look at or follow up on most of them. So when one of my secret groups suddenly went BOOM and deleted itself, I was totally blindsided.

The purpose of these private groups is to have a forum where people of “like minds” can talk freely without being trolled and bombed by other people. To have these “like minds” so at odds with each other to lead to the death of a group doesn’t on the outside of it, make sense.

I think a reference back to my Saturday post on “It Takes a Village” might be insightful here. A village, even of like thinkers, is still quite prone to its own forms of role assignments and minor or major tyrannies and rebellions.

In this particular case, the similarity was that of people discussing unpopular and non-politically correct political and social positions — so the group was quite diverse in perspective but open in allowing freewheeling discussion.

But from the limited after report I was able to get, the actual discussion of perspectives had nothing to do with the death. It was all elements of personality and courtesy (or lack thereof) that led to the blow-up.

Civility can be a way to prevent people from having their voice, but without some sort of civility no one gets a voice. As I can recall from my own extended family, it was small things that caused the biggest separations. Allowing oneself to be offended is always a dangerous thing. Being afraid to offend someone else is another dangerous thing.

Somewhere in there is a conclusion.