Sunday, November 23, 2008

Songs and memories

Last Monday, as I was walking to the ecumenical centre to go to this service, I thought about what one would choose to sing at a service to celebrate arrivals and departures. And I thought, aha, I suppose the appropriate thing would be "One more step along the world I go…" and indeed, it was. It's a song that has particular memories, because the very first time I sang it stuck (for a reason unknown to me) in my head. But that was not such a surprise, since I sing it often enough.
More surprising was the second song-related moment of remembering that happened to me this week. On Friday evening, as one does, I found myself in Brussels, practising hungarian songs with a bunch of hungarians for a mass this morning. A couple of the songs turned out to have familiar tunes, indeed, to be Hungarian versions of songs I knew (including "Seek ye first the kingdom of God"…). One of them was the round "Jesus, we adore you, lay our lives before you…" It's a song I haven't heard, sung or even thought about for years. Probably more than a decade. But singing it took me right back to my childhood, and many good memories about that time that I haven't revisited for ages.

It happens with music like it happens with smells and numerous other kinds of things…ah, the wonders of the human mind…

3 comments:

Philip said...

At my prep school we always used to sing the old chestnut "God be with you till we meet again" at the end of term when people were either leaving permanently, or at least for the school holidays. (number 740 in Hymns A&M, although this is beginning to sound as if it ought to be on your mother's blog about hymns...)

Catherine Osborne said...

Yes, well I think I can probably tell you what the memories are of, because both those songs are fixed in my memory to certain occasions. "One more step along the world I go" goes back to a children's activity day at St Stephen's house run by (I think) Chris Irvine and the ordinands of Staggers. I think it was on the theme of the circus (and did you make an altar frontal?). "Father/Jesus/Spirit we adore you/thee" was a round we did in nine parts with three generations each of three families at the Fellowship conference in Winchester, I think? Which year was that? I don't recall.

Annie said...

That's interesting, because I remember the activity day but I have no memories (as far as I know) of Winchester, so I suppose I must have been too young...