Sweetly Played in Tune

     February has always in someway been considered the lovers month among Americans for several generations. After all, when we think about holidays in February the first one that pops into most of our heads is certainly not President's day. I had intended to to write this for Valentine's day, didn't get around to it, and consoled myself with the prospect that it would be just as good as long as it stayed in February.
   I don't know about you all, but I don't have a special someone in my life yet, so there wasn't any romantic surprise or candlelit dinner with my one and only to look forward to on Valentines, however, it was still extra special for me because it gave me an excuse to saunter about singing my favorite romantic folk songs.

    We could quibble that the day was not originally hallowed for lovers but for St. Valentine an extraordinarily generous man in centuries past. However, it has morphed into something entirely different but not absolutely bad in this day and age. I can't imagine that St. Valentine would object to us using his day to celebrate love, the most wonderful emotion which any being made in the image of God will ever experience, and the beautiful virtue which out shines the rest in its selflessness and thoughtful humility.

   Since this is a blog on music, and music is the language of lovers, it's an exciting moment for me as I get to share with you my all time favorite romantic song; My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns.

O, my love is like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June
O, my love is like a melody
That's sweetly played in tune

So fair art thou, my bonnie lass
So deep in love am I
And I will love thee still
My dear till a' the seas gang dry

Till a' the seas gang dry my dear
And the rocks melt wi' the sun
And I will love thee still, my dear
While the sands of life shall run

And fare thee weel, my only love
And fare thee weel awhile
And I will come again, my dear
Tho' 'twere ten thousand mile

    Yes, it's rather pedantic in terms of actual depth but my heart just melts at the first stanza, as the writer first describes his love as a red rose which is newly sprung in June, and then to a melody that's sweetly played in tune. Of course after that, what girl doesn't want to be told by her sweetheart that he will love her until the seas dry up and the rocks melt in the sun? Well if there are a few out there who wouldn't smile at such a proclamation, I'm not one of them. ;) 
   Then of course the tune is so melodic, and beautifully fits the swing of the words, it's enough to make me cry at the sheer beauty of it when sung by the right person. 
  So, enjoy this lovely rendition of this traditional Scottish tune and it's stirring melody sung by Scottish Tenor Kenneth McKellar.

When I sing this song, I imagine that in some way, unsuspecting of course, Burns was attempting in some way to put into human words the love God has for us. However, as another poet so aptly stated, 
        "The Love of God is greater far, than tongue or pen can ever tell, it goes beyond the highest star, and reaches to the lowest hell."

  What a comforting thing that is to remember on Valentines day. No matter where we are, no matter what hell we find ourselves in here on earth, that inexpressible love of God will still reach us. As a reminder to all of us, that all our love here on earth should be modeled after the greatest Lover of all time, allow me to close with the lyrics of this beautiful hymn penned by Fredrick Lehman.
The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell.
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell.
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin. 
When hoary time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
Indeed, The skies and the oceans couldn't contain or express God's love for us. When we sing songs like "The Red, Red Rose," let us remember the love of God which is even more grand than any poet's acclamation.  And someday may we all have love who is like a melody that's sweetly played in tune.



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