Sing Unto the Lord a New Song

(From Short Stories Book 4, Copyright 2019 Stroble Family Trust. All rights reserved.)

“Oh yeah, It’s going to be great. I can hardly wait.”

Maybe for you, Jane Wesley thought. But what about me? Why do your crises always have to include me as one of the main players?

Jane recalled her husband Trevor’s last crisis. It had been a messy midlife type of crisis lasting for over a year. Now, twenty-nine years later, Trevor was suffering from a late-life crisis. Both of the crises had one thing in common – music.

During Trevor’s midlife crisis, he had finally convinced Jane to go with him to a small homemade recording studio occupying a garage in a suburban Sacramento neighborhood. A guitarist/singer from a local rock band had built and ran it. There, Jane had recorded two songs Trevor had written. Well, at least the lyrics. Jane had had to compose the music for the songs. She also played guitar on them, backed by her sister on flute.

Able to play guitar, piano, organ, and clarinet since childhood and blessed with a voice capable of singing lead or harmony, Jane seemed to have been dealt almost all of the musical talent in this marriage, while her husband served as her Svengali on a mission with a vengeance.

Poor Trevor was tone-deaf.

His dreams of playing in a garage band during the 1960s had crashed and burned, even after a year of trying to play trombone during fourth grade for his school band and a year of piano lessons during high school. His talented friends who could listen to a song once or twice and then play it note for note tried to help. But their writing down the chords for the Top 40 hits of that era for Trevor did not sound as it should have whenever he plugged his three and a half octave portable organ into his amplifier.

A wiser mind possessed by one of Trevor’s guitarist friends had correctly labelled Trevor’s gear as your Ass Tone organ and Twin Trouble amp.

But dreams die hard.

Now pushing seventy, Trevor had convinced himself that his true calling was to be the manager of a musical group. After all, how hard could it be to get three very different people into a recording studio? Never mind how one of them lived about 1,500 miles away from the other two. And once their CD hit You-Tube and Amazon? Look out, baby, here comes success with a capital S.

“We’re going to call the band the Inspirational Hillbillies of Praise,” Trevor told Jane.

“Huh? But I’m not a hillbilly.”

“Who cares? Neither are the other two guys I picked out for the band. Both of them can sing and play guitar.”

“But –“

“It’s all in the formula, honey. The Inspirational Hillbillies of Praise are going to play 60% gospel, 20% country, 10% bluegrass, 8% folk, and 2% contemporary Christian praise music. What a combination! We can’t miss.”

“You want me to be a part of a trio?”

“Yup. Some of the greatest acts of all time were trios. Look at The Kingston Trio, The Jimi Hendrix Experience; The Cyrkle, and Peter, Paul and Mary. And don’t forget Emerson, Lake and Palmer.”

“Emerson, Lake and who?”

“And Palmer. You know, one of the greatest Progressive Rock groups of all time.”

* * *

Two weeks passed.

To sublimate his late-life crisis angst into action, any sort of action, Trevor stormed Facebook. Every friend, foe or casual observer of Trevor’s posts or comments to Facebook soon began to suspect something serious had infected his soul.

No matter what anyone else posted on their Facebook page, Trevor began to reply, often just a sentence or two, followed by a link to a song he found on YouTube. Sometimes the song selected proved to be a tenuous at best, a mystifying at worst connection to the original post.

In one instance, a resident of Arizona posted photographs of Arizona scenery. One vivid photo of a sunset looked like the sky had been set afire. In response, Trevor commented on the photos with a link to the song Sons and Daughters (Reprise), which had been used as the last song in the soundtrack for the movie Fire in the Sky, based on a true story that took place in the mountains of eastern Arizona.

Trevor considered that comment among his Top Three of 2019 for Facebook interactions.

But no amount of compromise or revamping of his hastily written Business Plan for the Inspirational Hillbillies of Praise seemed adequate. Despairing, Trevor staggered out of bed at 4a.m. after a restless night of sleep mixed with strange dreams. He fed his three cats, and then sat down to write a song he hoped The Inspirational Hillbillies of Praise would someday record.

He called it Time for a Change:

 

There are so many people nowadays

Calling out for a change

That it leaves you with the feeling

God is getting ready to rearrange

Everything and everybody everywhere

 

It seems like all things are being shaken

And too much is being taken

For granted by every

Child, woman, and man

Who are so busy with their own plan

That they can’t understand how

Only God’s kingdom is going to remain

Going to remain

 

So, let’s turn away from our sins

And turn back

Toward God the Father’s throne again

His Son Jesus has been given

All authority

In Heaven and on Earth, over all humanity

It’s high time we told the lost billions of people

Of their need for their rebirth

Born again as adopted sons and daughters

Of God our Father

The One Who created the heavens

And the earth

 

To tell you the truth

I’m really not all that sure

Where all this talk of change

Is going to end

But I have a mighty bad feeling

Because way too many people

Ignore or blaspheme their Creator

Over and over

And again and again

 

So, let’s turn away from our sins

And turn back

Toward God the Father’s throne again

His Son Jesus has been given

All authority

In Heaven and on Earth, over all humanity

It’s high time we told the lost billions of people

Of their need for their rebirth

Born again as adopted sons and daughters

Of God our Father

The One Who created the heavens

And the earth

 

After trying to sing the song to his wife, Trevor stared at Jane. His expression reminded her of one of her seven children when they were younger and begging to taste something she had cooked or baked.

“Well?” Trevor asked after a minute went by.

Jane’s expression changed, as if she had just been pricked by a large hypodermic needle shoved into her leg.

“Uh, you still tend to slide into a monotone after the first line or two of whatever you sing. I’m really not sure what the melody is supposed to be for your new song.”

“No problem. You’ll figure it out because you are now The Official Composer in Chief of the Inspirational Hillbillies of Praise. We’re a team. I write the lyrics, you write the music, just like Rogers and –”

“Hammerstein.” Jane sighed and looked heavenward before saying, “Oy vey,” her favorite expression when tasked with a seemingly impossible request.

(Taken from Short Stories, Book 4, which will be available for free from Amazon from Tuesday, December 3, through Saturday, December 7.)

 

 

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