Sorry I haven't posted much in Year of Uke (or elsewhere, actually). The reason has been that I am super-busy with the sorts of things we are all super-busy with. The holidays are, of course, a big part of my job and then--just when I was going to get back to regular playing and posting--I needed to respond to the insurrection, Part of a preacher's job is taking one's place on the front lines in the "War of Ideas". As a progressive Christian, I try to respond to major events like the near-theft of an election and the violent aftermath of that attempt. Right now we are witnessing the continued rise of white supremacist ideology. By speaking out against this ideology, I hope to equip others to do so as well..
Anyway, you can find my sermons in the "Sermon Roll" on this site. I am not preaching this week so I took the time to cut a new "Amazing Grace" to be used as a hymn. The other one featured just me and my mandolin. It was a bit slow, too. This one has me on the mando. Interestingly enough, the A-Style" mandolin is frequently confused with an ukulele by casual observers. This is probably because it is rather small and plays in a similar range.
The vid does have a uke in it, though. It is played by my son, Conor, who is social-distancing with the fam. Conor graduated in the spring from college as a History/Music major and mostly--musically, that is--plays the trumpet. You can see us both much younger in the previous Year of Uke vid. He was just in middle school then...
Anyway, this is a song that most of us know. There are a number of stories around it that are in dispute. What is definitely true is that it spent its long life as an Abolitionist and Civil Rights anthem. The progressive church is not a new thing, after all! We are singing it this Sunday--MLK Sunday--as a congregation for this reason. These days I mostly wish we had progressed much farther than we have as a society.
There are many different verses to this tune. Here are the ones frequently described as the "original" words. In the video we sing verses 1-3 and then the last one...
Amazing Grace (Original Words)
John Newton pub. 1779
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
I play a number of musical instruments. In addition to the ukulele I play the mandolin, guitar, rhythm bones, and a few other things. This page, though, is about my uke project. I recently decided to post once a week on a uke-themed topic. Most of these posts will be simple songs you can sing along to. Maybe later I will do more informational videos as well.