Saturday Night, December 16

1) I picked up the phrase "thrilled with horror" from Madame Campan's biography/memoir of Marie Antoinette*, and right now I am thrilled with horror that there is a holiday party going on this very evening to which I forgot to send my regrets. Etiquetteer is going to remonstrate me a great deal over this one!

2) My afternoon started to go in a direction I did not care for, and I asked myself, "Well, Robert, if you could do whatever you wanted to (and you can), what would you do?" And I said back to myself "I would go home, get into bed, and take a NAP!" And gosh darn it, that is exactly what I did.

3) Remember last summer how I saw that Mennonite group singing on Boston Common, something about the City of Zion? Found the hymn! "We're Marching to Zion" is, I gather, kind of a big deal by Isaac Watts. I've never heard of it. Not one of the hymns I grew up with at First Methodist.

3a) Transfixed by the lyric "a thousand sacred sweets."

3b) At my funeral - at least 30 years away, I hope - I would want to bring out the hymns I did grow up with, "The Church's One Foundation" and "God of Our Fathers," but none of you will know the tunes, which would be kind of a big fail. I don't remember when I discovered Wesley's Directions for Singing, but number four has always rested with me (and I would have my funeral open with it, too): "Sing lustily and with a good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of its being heard, than when you sung the songs of Satan." [Italics mine.]

3b.1) Mama Rose translated that as "Sing out, Louise!"

3c) But how many people who know me would read Wesley's Directions, look over their glasses at me, and point out number five: "Sing modestly. Do not bawl, so as to be heard above or distinct from the rest of the congregation, that you may not destroy the harmony; but strive to unite your voices together, so as to make one clear melodious sound." AHEM.

*A birthday present to myself from the dollar rack at Boston Book Annex back in 1984. Never regretted it.