They’ve got 26 suggested hymns to get through, this evening, and organist June Welch and choir are working hard to make sure they can help lead them all. There would only be 25, but Shirley Brown had asked me, when she launched the online entry form a month ago, if I would try it out; lo and behold my relatively tongue-in-cheek entry has made it as well!
I opined, just before I hit the ‘return’ key, that if it was good enough for Elvis, it was good enough for me. But now that I’ve listened to his version of ‘In the Garden‘ (more popularly known as ‘I come to the garden alone’), thanks to YouTube, I’d have to say that he sure sings it slow. Carrie however, who was an Elvis fan in her youth, says she’s never heard the hymn, but it was a favourite of my childhood, if regularly sung at a faster pace. More like the way Anne Murray, popular Canadian singer, does it, though I quite liked the arrangement done by the Harding University Good News Singers. Still, I’m pretty sure I don’t remember any mention of cheeky hares in the hymn, though I recall that the birdsong is hushed at one point.
So it remains to be seen whether the assembled multitude, fortified with an early Pimm’s, will be able to get through this number or not, since it may not have travelled to these shores. And if the good folks don’t find the lyrics of ‘In the Garden’ familiar, sure there’ll be lots of others that are close to their hearts, and the church rafters might just be lifted after all. Apparently each hymn will be limited to two verses, so as to get through the whole collection in a timely fashion.
It’s likely to be a good old sing, that’s for sure, and unless your heart is made of stone, one or two of the selections should pull on its strings just a little!