Prompt: What role did music play in your growing up years? What, if any, music do you associate with early childhood? What music style or songs were popular when you were in high school? How did you listen to music – on the radio, albums, etc. Did you have a stereo in your room? …
My family was early adopters of the Compact Disc. It was the late ’80s and the only way you could get a CD player was as a stereo component–you had to hook it to a stereo and speakers in order to make it work. This was before you could get boomboxes and walkmans and cars that played CDs.
Our CD collection had two components: classical music and Hosanna! worship music.
The most frequently listened to album was “All Hail King Jesus”–but we all called it “Rister Rise” after the second song on the album “Let Your Spirit Rise within Me”. Joshua, no more than three at the time we acquired the album, loved that song, but couldn’t quite pronounce the words.
The Hosanna! songs were simple choruses, easy for us children to learn, infinitely danceable (to a preschooler’s mind). They were new songs when we learned them, of course–although now many contemporary churches would find them desperately outdated.
Most have been forgotten and I don’t miss them much. Others, I take the time to remember and continue to sing. If you flip through the book of Psalms in my Bible, you’ll see little music notes drawn in here and there. When I see that note, I know that there’s a song, somewhere in the recesses of my mind, that goes along with the nearby verse. And most of those songs were Hosanna! songs.
- Psalm 2:3-4 “My Glory and the Lifter of My Head” from HM27 We Have Overcome
- Psalm 18:46 “The Lord Lives” from HM27 We Have Overcome
“I will call upon the Lord” from HM18 Forever Grateful
- Psalm 27:1 “The Lord is My Light” from HM24 Bless the Lord
- Psalm 34:1 “I will bless the Lord” from HM07 Give Thanks
- Psalm 42:1 “As the deer” from HM10 Praise and Honor
- Psalm 42:5 “Why so downcast?” from HM 18 Forever Grateful
The list could go on and on. Yes, some of the songs were trite, most of the melodies simple. But so many were Scripture, set to music a child could easily sing. They were beautiful.
Of course, we kids weren’t allowed to touch the CDs. Our grubby paws would undoubtedly have ruined them quickly (as it is, my parent’s collection is still in good shape twenty years later. The music we kids started acquiring for ourselves in our teens has not fared so well–apparently our grubby hands and bad habits were indeed harmful to CDs!)
We could, however, put in tapes. We listened to Psalty the Singing Songbook, Jungle Jam, Big Steps Little Feet–and a tape we called “Syrup Lady” after the incredibly syruppy-voiced narrator.
But our real favorites, which Mom started letting us handle once we got into our elementary years, were her old records. She had some of the best records from the early days of Contemporary Christian Music–Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, LAMB, Evie, 2nd Chapter of Acts, Chuck Girard. We listened to some of the same songs over and over and over again. Oh, how we loved that music!
Once Anna and I entered our teen years, CDs were commonplace and we had numerous CD playing boomboxes about the house–and CD players in our computers. Music went from being a household event with everyone singing and dancing along to being a primarily individual event, listened to by one person for their own enjoyment. Now, of course, everyone has their iPods and no one can hear another’s music–everyone just dances to their own, isolated from the rest of the world.
It’s nice not to have to listen to the more obnoxious music some people :-) find pleasant these days–but I do occasionally miss the old days where we all gathered in the living room to sing and dance and enjoy our music together.
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