That time I kept forgetting to sing.
Stillness reigns, the winds are sleeping. All the world is bent on keeping
tryst with night, whose wings are sweeping from the west each ray of light.
Dusk, a soft and silken cover, over all is seen to hover
in its readiness to cover all the drowsy world, good night.
Those who labored long, untiring, hail this time of rest desiring,
strength renewed through sweet retiring, welcome thoughts of peaceful night.
And through spaces real or seeming find the Eden of their dreaming,
soar to starry ways, redeeming hours of toil and pain, good night.
If a tune is unfamiliar (or even if it is vaguely familiar), I will sometimes visit the site Small Church Music to see if the tune is there, so that instead of plunking out notes on my little keyboard app, or just making it up, I can actually hear and learn the tune. Usually, there are a variety of accompaniments for a tune – piano, a band, and organ, and maybe some combination. I probably could have figured this one out fairly easily, but I opted for the easy way so I could focus on lyrics, as has been my wont lately.
Everything started off just fine. I found the tune and decided to play the organ version. I start singing: “Stillness reigns, the winds…” mm…I like this accompaniment. And how neatly the harmonies work. Oh. I’m not singing! “….ray of light.”
Next verse: “Dusk, a…” Oh, he’s changed it up. Neat. This works. It’s cheery, but not too schmaltzy. I wonder how this will work as a vespers tune. Is it really? What does it say?
Oh! Third verse…wow, I love this variation. Nicely played. It would be nice to have an organ sometimes. Oh crap, I’m not singing. “…welcome thoughts of peaceful night.”
Fourth verse: So strong, culminating in Eden! That works. Singing? What singing?
So yeah. That happened.
And I considered playing it again, singing it earnestly this time. But then I thought, this was my experience today – why change it? The tune’s in my head, so I’ll be humming it for a while – I’m humming it now. And maybe that’s all that’s necessary on a day like today, when my head is stuffy and the post-preaching exhaustion lingers and winter makes its first appearance.
Time for a little stillness to reign before the flurry of the holiday.