Tuesday 25 July 2023

Tuesday 25th July - old songs, old memories

I see the moon and the moon sees me,

God bless the moon and God bless me.

I looked out of the back door just now, and there was the moon in an inky dark blue sky, looking just like a biscuit with a big round bite missing from the side.

I used to teach the lullaby above to the youngest children. If you know tonic solfa, then the tune I know is

S...  m   d   s.... m d s... s... s....

S... m d s.... m-s d.... d.... d....

It's been a day of remembering old tunes from school;

This morning it was an assembly song with words written by Eleanor Farjeon;

Morning has broken, like the first morning

Blackbird has spoken, like the first word,

Praise for the singing, praise for the morning, 

Praise for them springing fresh from the word.

I'm not sure we ever sang this at any of the schools I went to. I must have learned it when Cat Stevens (remember him?) made it popular.

Later, in the afternoon a friend brought me a bunch of gladioli, saying that they always made her think of a song from her schooldays and suddenly started singing;

Glad that I live am I;

That the sky is blue;

Glad for the country lanes

And the fall of dew.

Again, I'm not familiar with this one although I have heard it before. We used very traditional hymns in our school assemblies, and even chanted a Psalm every Wednesday using the chants that nearly all Anglican churches used back then. I can't remember the last time I sang a psalm like that (I have to confess that I rather miss the intellectual exercise of working out when to change the notes!)

All the three songs above have the virtue of simplicity. The get straight to the point; the message is clear and memorable.

Ah well. It's bedtime for me;

You see the moon, and the moon sees you;

God bless the moon and God bless you.


  1. I've sung both hymns since childhood. I love Eleanor Farjeons verses, and chose Morning has Broken for the service I led two weeks ago at the chapel in the town. I may use it again at our own chapel where I'm preaching on Sunday

    1. I used to dislike the hymn as 'childish' and clichéd, like 'all things bright and beautiful '. But I've grown to love both of them.

  2. My comment disappeared! Let's try again...The "Glad that I live..." is, I believe, by A.A.Milne. The whole verse was printed on my sister in law's funeral sheet...which is slightly ironic as she died by suicide (Glad that I live?) However, its simplicity suited her.

    1. I haven't looked up the author; it sounds A A Milne-ish, although the grammar is rather awkward to make it fit; 'I am glad that I live' sounds better. Like ''The King of love my shepherd is'.
      My aunt, who lived in the Netherlands, chose 'Summertime, and the living is easy', Glenn Miller's 'In the mood' and 'we'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when' for her humanist funeral service, much the amusementof my parents. But they were her favourite songs from her youth!