Kingdom Melodies Cassette #990
Alright, this is one of those ‘What was your favourite’ questions:
When you were a Witness (or even if you’re still reluctantly attached like me), did you have a favourite Kingdom Melody (why couldn’t they just be called hymns by the way)?
I remember thinking they were ok as a young child, but that was until I got to secondary school and heard the other kids singing ‘proper’ hymns in assembly, while I had to stand outside. The one thing I notice about the updated songbook is that they are all written in a much higher key than most people can manage – when they’re sung at my hall, most people just mumble their way though them.
I visited the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris last year, and in it was strange how in just the few minutes I spent in there, I was really moved by the music being played in there. Certainly a lot more moved than I’ve ever been moved in the (what seems like hundreds of) years I’ve been attending the Kingdom Hall.
I’ve been to two funerals for relatives that have passed away in recent years. At the first one (the non Witness one) at the graveside, everyone knew the words to the hymns and sang harmonies to them – really moving. At my Witness relative’s funeral, everyone stood at the grave side wondering what to do until a sister started singing the first few lines of ‘Life Without End – at Last’. But for some reason, that song just sounded wrong to sung in that situation (in fact it was at that point where his wife broke down). Because no one knew the Witness ‘protocol’ for that sort of situation, you had a few half-heartedly join in the singing, but the rest just stood around looking awkward, unsure if we were ‘allowed’ to do that sort of thing at a graveside.
I remember years ago, certain brothers and sisters would get together to sing the songs a make up different melodies to them and so forth, but all that was stopped. The thinking was that, unless you play it like it sounds on the cassette, you’re disrespecting Jehovah.
Anyway, the songs I absolutely hate are the ‘marriage’ songs (‘Marriage is God’s Arrangement’ – pass the sick bag :-(*)– and the ‘children/youth’ songs (“they are gifts from God, He says use the rod” [8>] )
Anyway, does anyone have any favourites that they miss singing?
I suppose my ‘favourite’ would be
‘Jehovah is my Shepherd’ (although I still prefer the ‘Christendom’ version of this song) .
I never knew whether to laugh or cringe at that line "They are gifts from God...He says use the rod". How many kids got taken into the restroom and whupped right after that song?
If I had to pick just one, maybe "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize". It's a clever rhyming title, with a nice picture of ideal conditions on earth. Later it seems McDonald's had an advertising campaign "Keep Your Eyes on Your Fries". Did a JW work for their ad agency, or what? LOL.
I can't think of the names at the moment, but I've always liked 171, 115, 23 and 87.
Every Memorial I would get chills when I heard 87. I've looked into the "Apostate" stuff on and off for the last 10 years, but this year I've been really hot and heavy. Wierd because I didn't get the chills this year when I heard the song.
"Worldy" hymns always move me. Ave Maria (is that one) and Amazing Grace make me tear up all the time.
. o O (slipnslidemaster)
LOL Gopher on that kids song!
My mom played the paino at the KH practically since I was born. I grew up hearing her practice the kingdon songs at our house. I was excited to get baptized at 12 so that I too would be allowed to play at the hall. The first time I did (I was barely 13 at the time) it was the opening song. I played almost perfectly until I began to play an extra verse! Everyone stopeed singing & I continued to play!!! Talk about mortifying to a 13 year old! I sat there during the opening prayer but ran to the bathroom crying as soon as I heard AMEN. I was so embarrassed, even though I had everyone coming up to me telling me how much they enjoyed me playing. They all told me that they would have sang another verse! lol I played one more time then decided I didn't like the pressure.
I've never been to another church and so have never heard traditional hymns. I definitely had/have my favorite kingdom songs, especially the ones I learned to play. Song No. 114 (know the number exactly but am not fully confident about the title) "God is Love". My absolute favorite! Got married to it! My mom played it so much for weddings. She learned to adapt the song so that each verse was a little different. By the time the bride walked down the song was so pretty (a lot of ad lib) and in an octave higher. I also love No. 178 (I think). Can't remember the name but it sounded very similar to "Somewhere in Time" (you know....with Christopher Reeve & Jane Seymour)
"Life Without End-At Last" is most definitely a funeral song. I could never understand how people could sing that at a funeral. Even when I would sing it at the kingdom hall I would get all choked up. One time someone wanted my mother to play it for their wedding. We were so disgusted....IT'S A FUNERAL SONG!!! Were they trying to say something about their marriage. Wonder if they are still together?
Anyway, around 1990, I believe, the Society said "no no" to using live music. So the hall sold the paino. Singing at the hall was never the same again with the cd's. Singing with mom was just so much better. Guess I got a little spoiled! My mom hated it too. She had played for years, even playing clarinet for the circuit & district assemblies back when she was a teen. I guess singing those kingdom songs were only tolerable & sounded halfway beauitful compared to traditional hymns if accompanied by live music!
Aahhhhh, the good ole' days!
(Damn you.......now I'm gonna be humming "God is Love" all day!
I played piano at various congregations I went to from about age 13 until about 1989 or 1990, can't remember. The circuit overseer had inquired to someone at Bethel about a ruling as to piano players. Then his first time around the circuit he got rid of the "weak" players, and the second time around he yanked the rest of us.
I cannot tell you how many people came and told me that they preferred a live performance to the tape!
Oh well, rules are rules. Sigh.
BTW, I think the song you are mentally stuck on is "Loyal Love". (.... all his works give proof thereof, etc., etc. Is that enough or do you want more?)
I hated each and every one of those vapid songs.
But, if I didn't sing that tripe at the kingdom hall, my parents made me sing out loud in front of my family went we got home.
I guess they were brainwas...er, "inculcating" the "truth" in me.
That's it, Gopher! Now I've really got the song in my head.....
Loyal love, god is love..
I used to know the entire song by heart!
THANKS A WHOLE HECK OF A LOT!!!
Love ya, Gopher!
Kimberly....mine was , we are jW witnesess , we speak out in fearlesness , blah blah we come to tell you that your religion is not as good as ours, and that you are going die . blah blah blah
I'm with dedalus on this one. I despised the whole lot of that insipid drivel.
However, some of those tone-deaf 'brothers and sisters' were comedic gold. They would get all hopped up on jesus, and really cut loose. I swear some of them forgot that they were in fact NOT Aretha Franklin or one of the Three Tenors. That music would start up, and they would just let 'er rip. It was classic.
p.s. 'He says use the rod?' Yikes. I'm not touching that one.
Can't remember the title, but one song that gave me the abdabs when I lived with my parents contained the line: "How pleasant to see brothers who dwell in unity, who truly love each other and live in harmony".
My mum was a very pious piano playing dub back then, and would always belt out that verse when kid bro and me were squabbling. Uuurgh.
BUT! Try humming - or singing - that tune at double speed and you have got the Looney Tunes theme! Go on, give it a go!