Unitarian Hymnal Sing-along

In which Kathryn attempts to sing a different song everyday from the Unitarian Universalist hymnal, 'Singing the Living Tradition'. Earlier posts are based on songs from the Reader's Digest songbooks she found at yard sales as a child, including: 'Reader's Digest Treasury of Best Loved Songs', 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook', and 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook of Faith and Joy'. Bonus Folk song material from: 'Folk Song USA', by John and Alan Lomax.

26 January 2006

"The Marine's Hymn"

I think my daughter could sense that this wasn't one of my favorites when I sang it this morning. There's no reason why I should have any personal attachment to it, not being a Marine, related to a Marine, or knowing what the 'halls of Montezuma' referred to until today. It is very interesting to know, however, that the tune of this piece originated as an Offenbach march in an opera buffe; and that these writers, at least, have no idea who thought to put these words to this. (And the spell checker, which I just discovered in this context today, comes up with 'monotheism' for 'Montezuma'. Surely that means something as well.)

A couple of people lately have referred to me as 'non-judgemental' and 'forgiving' (not my daughter). I think mostly it's that I'm so aware of my many flaws and faults that I feel I want to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Then maybe they'll forgive me when I really goof, which could (and does) happen at any moment. So it's still all about me, I think. I also do believe that the glass is half full, and I assume that people in general are good, and well-meaning. Being lazy is the worst crime. It takes a gentle persistence to keep that at bay, and it can be tiring. But like most things, practice helps.

Sometimes I do run into people who are flawed or less-than-gifted in some consistent way that affects our friendship: they're liars, or unreliable, or judgemental, or angry, or socially clueless. If I feel some deeper connection with these people, I don't give them up, it's just helpful to know what the rules are. And sometimes, for example, it's useful to have a friend who's willing to be angry on my behalf; comforting, even, to know that someone is holding that for me. Lastly, it's true that I have been all those things: a liar, unreliable, judgemental, etc. Think kindly on me, please, as I continue to stumble along. I'll hold you up a bit, if you'd like, if you'll lend a shoulder now and then.


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