I Could Have Danced All Night....

....Well, maybe not all night!
        But I think I could have gone on a lot longer if given the opportunity.
Last Saturday(June 21) I got to really dance for the first time in my life! It was one of the most exciting events I have ever attended, I think! We did mostly Country dancing; Quadrilles, Circle dances and reels! My favorite was probably the "Indian Queen"; an English country dance, or another one we did of which I don't remember the name, oh well!
  Jedidiah took a few videos and I must commend his skill with a simple point and shoot camera.
I'll share the two that came out the best!
 The first one is a modification of the Virginia Reel, I don't remember what that one is called. The second one is the "Circassian Circle" That one was a lot of fun as well!
 For better or for worse, I am the one in the black and white skirt and the blue blouse! I look at these videos and think I look goofy, but perhaps that is just my perception of things!
  Elliot didn't want to dance, Gabrielle and Arianne couldn't make it and Jedidiah on down were too young, Timothy, Mommy and Daddy and I, however had a blast! My Brother Timothy is the tall one in the pale yellow shirt, most of the camera time, I think was spent on him during this dance and my parents are in the group to the left; a lot of the camera time was spent on them too!
  The Circassian Circle is the one below. I was silly enough to wear  NEW heels and actually did stumble and slipped twice in the first dance, that was embarrassing! But by the time we got to this one I had learned to 'slide' with them but still it was hard moving fast, I felt like I was being dragged forward and back when we all went in together and I was in constant fear lest I should fall in the middle of it, and mess everyone up! Next time I shall scuff up the shoes until they don't slide at all, or wear a different pair! But, anyway, I was so thankful the Lord gave me this opportunity!
  
I can hardly wait until we do it again!

Sweet Land Of Liberty

I always considered the months of June and July to be the "Patriotic" months of the year. Memorial day is on the last Monday in May and I almost count it as part of  the two months. Then with D-day on June sixth, Flag day on the fourteenth and, of course, Independence day on the Fourth of July, it fills the months; well, almost!  Any way, why am I writing this now and not on the eve of one of those holidays I just mentioned? Simply for the reason that I want to! Besides I already missed most of them and have something else in mind for Independence day.
   There was a time when there was no America and but for the courage of a few men who saw beyond the years we may have been still to this day colony of Great Britain. And but for the Christian faith of many of these men our revolution may have turned out as horrific and disastrous as that of the French or worse! Truly, we in America have much to be thankful for and so many of us, myself included, take it all for granted.  Yet imagine the scene of a field after a battle, imagine the bodies strewn over the grass the blood, the cries of those who are not quite dead, but, will be soon. There is nothing more you can do for them. Most of them in the bloom of youth; perhaps there is a sweetheart at home or perhaps a widowed mother or a young sister or brothers. Perhaps he is the only son of his father, the pride of the family, lying here almost dead, his life cut short; and yet not wasted. Imagine if you were the young man out there breathing his last. Or maybe you are the family member waiting in vain for Johnny to come marching home!
  What ever the case, war is ugly and freedom comes at a cost, always!
     Today I want to share with you a ballad; a ballad of Washington and of one man who lost all in the cause of the Revolutionary war: The Blacksmith of Brandywine.  I love singing this song when I'm out walking and want to sing some thing rousing. I like to sing it with my brothers, I sing the verses and they all join in on the chorus! It is a fun, lively song, written in the nineteen sixties. Yes, a relatively modern song but keep in mind, I am not against all modern songs. I am simply against most of them! It doesn't matter when it's written if it is good
    And this one is certainly good! Though I certainly wouldn't sing it in church or in praise to God!
So Here are the Lyrics:
 As we went down to Brandywine
There was a sight to see
A giant of a man with a hammer in his hand
Beneath the old oak tree
And scattered all around there
In fatal disarray
A score of men who would never fight again
Nor travel on the King’s Highway.

We dug his grave, covered him o’er
And sadly wept a tear
And passed the day a ridin’ on our way
Till we met with a musketeer.
He told us of the story of
A brave and angry man
Who undertook the British enemy
With a hammer in his hand.

Chorus
Make it one for Washington and all his gallent men
And one for the girl that once was mine
Make it one for the darling boy I’ll never see again
And don’t forget the blacksmith of Brandywine!

There lived a man in Chester town
Away from the cannon’s roar
Of manner mild, his a woman and child
No man could ever love more
One day he heard a Tory plot
To waylay Washington
He left his home and family alone
And to the General he did run.

His errand done he journed home
But sorrow there he found,
By British gun his wife and son
Lay still on the cold hard ground
Well the Blacksmith took his heavy sledge
And gave a practice swing.
They say down the line at Brandywine
You could hear his hammer sing:
Chorus

And here is a video so you can hear what it sounds like:
Now after all this, the question may come up; what is a Ballad?  I was hoping you would ask! A Ballad is a story in verse.  They used to be sung in castles and great halls in order to remember things that happened in history; many would speak of a brave warrior or king who distinguished himself by unusual acts of bravery. Many were about battles fought and many were quite long. The word is derived from the French "ballare" to dance and was used in reference to dancing songs, "ballares".  This is probably a little much to remember, so just keep in mind that a ballad is simply a story, turned into a song!
      Maybe sometime you'll write a ballad about some thing that happened to you or someone you know!
                      But enjoy this lively song!
Until next time.......
                                                        

No Angel Visitant


I have not posted in some time, and now feel the need to show my few faithful followers that I have not quite abandoned my blog! I want to share with you today a song that I learned through choir and I have taken as my own. A melodious, contemplative hymn: "Spirit of God Descend Upon My Heart."   Every single one of these verses is wonderful and such a common appeal from the heart, I can relate to each verse personally. The song was written in the early eighteen hundreds by George Croly; a Pastor and author. It is the only one of his hymns that has survived! The tune writer, Fredrick Atkinson, also wrote the tune to "Abide With Me", and it is interesting to hear the similarities between the two tunes, notice how the notes go down in the first line where he asks the the Spirit to Descend upon his heart and the rising crescendo in the end as he begs; 'stoop to my weakness, Mighty As Thou Art!'   The tune, in fact fits wonderfully with the soft pleading tone of the hymn. 
  I love the second verse where he states, "I ask no dream, no prophet Ecstasies; no sudden rending of the  veil of clay. No angel visitant, no opening skies; but take the dimness of my soul away!"  Here Croly renounces a very common wish of men, we want to be visited by angels, given visions in the night and we say, "Lord, if only I could see you or have a vision of heaven, I would be content and know that you are God." And yet did not Christ Himself tell the pharisees that even if someone were to rise from the dead they would not believe and does not He call us whom He has led to believe to walk by faith not by sight? Are they not blessed who do not see and yet believe?"  The Author, recognizes this and is like Solomon asking for wisdom instead of riches; "I ask none of these great wonders and signs!" he proclaims humbly, "I ask only that you take away that veil over my heart that blinds me to the horror of sin and the the existence of Almighty God; I want to feel your presence fully though I see no great visions and dreams!"   What a wonderful prayer for all of us! Let us all follow God first; He sends the little miracles and gifts as we go along, when we are not expecting them; when we really need them. It is not our place to ask for it. Though in a few cases, as of  Gideon and some others, he granted it any way. We cannot expect the same!  I have realized how much the Lord loves to send us little surprises and blessings when we're not expecting them!
  But I fear I have run on over long!
    Because the video I like best doesn't have all the verses, I will put them down here first and then post the video, make sure you read ALL of them before you watch the video! And tell me how you liked the tune; I love getting comments, post as many as you like! :)

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;
Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move;
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art;
And make me love Thee as I ought to love.

I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies,
No sudden rending of the veil of clay,
No angel visitant, no opening skies;
But take the dimness of my soul away.

Hast Thou not bid me love Thee, God and King?
All, all Thine own, soul, heart and strength and mind.
I see Thy cross; there teach my heart to cling:
O let me seek Thee, and O let me find!

Teach me to feel that Thou art always nigh;
Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear.
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh,
Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.

Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love,
One holy passion filling all my frame;
The kindling of the heaven descended Dove,
My heart an altar, and Thy love the flame.