Today, my Mother, my cousin Virginia, and I went to County Line Church in Corner, AL for the Reid Memorial Sacred Harp Singing. Mother and I went to listen and Virginia went to sing. And what a singing it was! The little church was full , joyful voices raised the rafters, and the floor was vibrating from the tapping of feet in time to the music.
The music is raw, and almost shouting at times instead of the melodious music we're accustomed to. But as I sit in that little county church, I feel a sense of history, a connection to my ancestors who sang this music with the joy, fervor and abandon that these people sing. And it can be haunting at times. I've listened to it online but I don't think anything compares to hearing it in person.
In Sacred Harp, the singers sit in a square. Each side of the square is a different part. Everyone takes turn standing in the middle of the square and leading a song. They first sing the shapes and then the words. Virginia had told me and I had read that the sound in the middle of the square is just incredible and totally different than when sitting out in the church. And they were right. Today, I stood in the center with Virginia as she led a song.
Were they ever right! It was like being in surround sound. I just wanted to close my eyes and listen. And now, I wish I had.
Lunch was served today and what a spread there was! Fried chicken, dressing, green beans, pinto beans, and the dishes just kept on. Oh my! The meal plan (diet) never made it in the door of the fellowship hall today!
I took green beans, Apple Dumplings, and Hallelujah Biscuits . I came home with no Apple Dumplings, one biscuit, and half of the green beans.
There was a little row of crafters - Ruby, my Mother, and me. Ruby and I knitted and Mother crocheted. The three of us had a most enjoyable time just listening to the music, tapping our feet, and knitting or crocheting away.
Here are a few photos from the day:
Young and old were there today with all ages in between. There were people there from Texas, Minnesota, Michigan, and all over Alabama. I can't wait to go again.