Music has always been something that I have thoroughly loved. My love of music began when I was just a young kid. My parents would sing all of the time. My Dad had this booming bass voice and my Mom could always harmonize with Dad. Mom has played the piano at church for likely more than 50-some years. My Dad sang at my wedding, and interesting enough my brother sang at my Dad’s funeral. Music has been such a large part of my life.
Why can music be so magical? Why can it hold such a spell over people? Are you thinking of a song right now? A song that holds a little bit of magic for you? A song that you danced to at your wedding, or one that got you through a difficult time in your life?
So many of the memories of my Dad involved songs I remember him singing in church. I can still hear his voice each Sunday as a song I can remember him singing is played. “It Is Well” was one of his favorite hymns.
“When peace like a river attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll, Whatever my lot thou’ has taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.
“My sin oh the bliss of this glorious thought, My sin not in part but the whole Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o’ my soul,” the song says.
Those words aren’t just words on a page in a hymn book. They are words that I can still hear sung by the most important man in my life. I mention this song because it holds such a memory of my father. Another song that will forever be linked with my father is a song that I can remember our church congregation singing the first Sunday after my father passed. I will never forget the emotion in the church that day — mMy emotion, my family’s emotion and our church families’ emotion. The song went like this….
“Sweet hour of prayer, Sweet hour of prayer, That calls me from a world of care, And bids me at my Father’s throne, Make all my wants and wishes known. In seasons of distress and grief, My soul has often found relief, And oft escaped the tempter’s snare, By Thy return, sweet hour of prayer.”
The moment as those lyrics ended seemed as if something was missing — and it was. My Dad’s voice left a void — in our hearts and in our church. The memory though is as they call it priceless, because 100 years can’t erase that feeling. Each and every time those two songs play I can’t help but get a lump in my throat.
I have always loved music. As a kid my brother used to always leave his radio on as we would fall asleep. The glow of the radio in the dark room always helped assist me to sleep. I can even remember waiting for what seemed like hours so I could record my favorite song when it came on the radio. Wow, how time has changed. You can now just Google the song and there it is.
I have so many favorite songs, way too many to name. Each and every song is my favorite for different reasons. Most of them hold a memory with them, and that my friends is the magic. Some of my favorite songs are headed this way. The Christmas season wouldn’t be the same without some wonderful melodies — “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “Silent Night,” “The Christmas Song,” and “White Christmas” are all golden in my book, and we can’t forget “Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer.”
There is another type of music that I love. Her name is Becky. Next month we will celebrate our 23rd year of making music together as a married couple. Our musical career began in January of 1993. We began dating in high school, and four years later we set out on a new musical tour. Our wedding day was on a beautiful November day, and that music has culminated in four wonderful children and a home that holds so many memories of our lyrics. They are lyrics that can never be erased, scratched, forgotten or copied. As time passes and our musical journey continues to grow and blossom, so has our music. Marriage and love are interesting things. It is very similar to music. Sometimes the music is upbeat and positive, but sometimes the ballads are full of pain and sorrow. But through it all one thing remains.
“One boy, one girl, two hearts beating wildly. To put it mildly it was love at first sight. He smiled, she smiled and they knew right away this was the day they’d waited for all their lives. For a moment the whole world revolved around one boy, and one girl.” (Collin Raye)
May you always be that one boy or one girl. Let the music work it’s magic in your life and carry your mind back to a memory that will stand the test of time. Music can move us in so many different ways. It reminds us of the past and the precious memories it holds, and it catalogs our present and the beauty that each moment cradles. Turn your radio up and lose yourself in the melody of life. I know that I have, cause at the end of the day my music will be someone else’s memory.
Chad McConnaughey is the Highland County recorder.