River Wissey Lovell Fuller

The Way I See It

November 2002

Or, quite possibly, the way Les hears it

The other Sunday at Chapel we sang a Hymn, which to my pleasant surprise was to the tune of 'Danny Boy'. Now I have long considered the lyrics to most Hymns to be well, ok, but certainly not the melodies. It seems to me the melodies go up, down, sideways, all over the place. I still say you make them up as you go along. Now why I was interested in 'Danny Boy' was that I have long thought that other popular melodies could be 'transferred' to a number of Hymns. Why stop a 'Danny Boy'? What's wrong with 'transferring', Bing Crosby's 'White Xmas', Frank Sinatra's 'Chicago', Tony Bennett's 'San Francisco', Tammy Wynette's 'Stand by your man', Ken Dodd's 'Tear' or Tom Jones' 'Green, green grass of home'? The list is endless. Why not transfer the present 'Top of the pops'? Well why not? Why is 'The Old Rugged Cross' and 'Abide with me' so popular? It's because, quite simply, they have got a tune. If we want more people to come to church and chapel we have to change our ways, as a certain Lady said. People are not running away from God, they are running away from their church or chapel, and I for one go along with that.

I was recently reading a quotation from Charles Kingsley. Who he is I don't know, maybe someone can tell me? The quotation goes "We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life when all we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about". If you think about this it makes sense. It made me think about the word enthusiasm and I asked myself when was the last time I did something that I could prefix with 'I'm really looking forward to that.' I'm not sure I can remember.

Now that I'm retired I often think of other people who are also retired and I ask myself "What do they do with themselves?" And I just can't work it out. When people tell you what they do, you think, 'hang on, they were doing all that before they retired.' What I think I'm coming round to is that I don't think us retired people are putting our talents to as much use as we ought to. I know that, as far as I'm concerned, I keep thinking I should be doing some voluntary work of some sort. Something where you are using your brains, assuming I have any. You know what they say, use it or lose it. The other day I was looking at all of these Adult Education Courses and the remarkable thing was I couldn't find a single thing that interested me. I seem to like music; I keep thinking it's about time I started to learn to play my Saxophone and Organ, but I'm not paying someone £15 per hour for that. Taking my money up the Pub, yes that's different, or is it?

Les Lawrence

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