Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Working Song

Something occurred to me the other day while I was cooking supper. And sadly, it was not the fact that what I was cooking sucked. That would have been good to realize before supper and not during. But anyway....
Two separate things came together in my brain and I had a thought. It did hurt just a little, yes. First of all, around Thanksgiving Sara Groves (one of my favorite singers) came out with a new video called "Setting Up the Pins." Here it is if you want to watch it:

So it's a song about working and the mundane things we all do over and over each day. Just like setting up bowling pins and knocking them down. One line caught my attention...."My grandmother had a working song. Hummed it low all day long."

A working song, huh? Never heard of it.

Then last week I read this post at Sherri Ann's Keeping Room. She talked about her mother always singing and when she wasn't singing....she was humming.

This is new to me and I wondered why mothers don't sing much anymore. I mean, they might, but I don't know of anyone who walks around singing all the time. So I thought maybe, just maybe, it's because there is never quiet. I don't mean quiet as in no children screaming talking. I mean there is always a TV, a CD, and ipod, a movie, or some other technology making noise for us.

We have music in our home, but mostly it's when we turn off the TV and put in a CD. We let other folks do the singing for us. Does that matter?

I think it does. This is a new thought and I'm still letting it roll around in my brain, but for the last month I have found myself singing while I work and the most remarkably old songs are coming to my brain. Songs I haven't heard in years. Songs we sang at church when I was growing up. Songs my kids don't know.
Wonder why I've been singing more lately? We got rid of our TV. Well, not the actual TV or how would we play Wii or watch DVDs? But we have no service of any kind. No DirectTV. No cable. Not even PBS. And so, in this new quiet that has filled our home, I have found myself singing.
It makes me think of this verse, "Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
When I listen to someone else sing, am I thanking God in my heart? It's possible, I suppose. But mostly that CD just becomes background noise. When I am singing or humming music that has come from my heart.....that's different. When my children come to ask me a question, and they stand there while I finish singing the line or verse I am on (smiling while I sing to them), then they are seeing me giving thanks to God from my heart.
I remember my mom humming while she sewed, but mostly I remember her watching soap operas while she ironed. :) I do have good memories of the records she would play while she folded laundry. I don't know.....I think we stifle some good stuff with all the noise we have going on around us all day long.
A working song. Singing and giving thanks to God while we work. Hmm. Did any of you have a mother or grandmother who sang while she worked? What do you think about all this?


  1. I used to think my grandma was talking to herself, she was always humming, whispering, or singing while she was doing her daily routine. I finally asked her about it. She chuckled and said, "I'm talking to Jesus. Sometimes I hum to him, sometimes I talk to him, sometimes I sing to him. If you are always talking to Jesus, it leaves little room for the devil to butt in."

  2. LOVED it. I am a singer/hummer, I am just nonstop jabber no matter how you slice it! HA HA. Just ask the hubby man! My 7 year old has followed me and he sings and hums nonstop during his school work. It drives his brother crazy!

  3. my grandmother never made a peep unless there was a cat in her garden, then you would hear her yell at it, but other than that, she was silent. I'm alot like her and my grandfather in that I prefer quiet. At least in my head. I am constantly thinking about things so singing wouldn't work for me. Sometimes I pray in my head sporadicly throughout the day and if we put music on then we will sing.

    My husbands grandmother was a different story. She always sang or hummed throughout the day. Sometimes it was hymns and sometimes it was just nonsense. It was okay I guess, just not my cup of tea. In fact, I couldn't really concentrate with her making all that noise sometimes. To each his own : )

  4. I LOVE that if you are always talking to jesus it leaves little room for the devil to butt in line from the other comment!

    I certainly rarely sing to myself. I make up silly songs for the kids to get their stuff done, I put ON music and sing to IT!

    My mother did not sing as she worked! In fact I cant really remember her listening to music when I was younger and actually until we left the baptist church and went all holy roller! She began having praise music on in the house. My grandmother didnt that I can remember or my great grandmother? maybe it is generational? Maybe it was people how could actually sing???? Which is NOT my family?

    but good post!

  5. By the way, what were you cooking that you think sucked so badly?

  6. Yeah, I wanna know that too!!

    I am definitely a chronic singer/hummer. I do it ALL THE TIME. I also play guitar, and a myriad of instruments from school days (which I no longer own) so music is a part of my genetic make-up.

    My kiddos love it, and they are singers too. Especially my oldest. But I have to rein her in or else she'd give us concerts all day long and never get any school done, lol!


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)