Country, Western & Gospel Music

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Ever flowing in peace from the throne, We in Jesus believe, and the Spirit receive That proceeds from the Father and Son.
But the book is notable chiefly for its sentimentality—with "The Ninety and Nine," "Where Is My Boy To-night?" "I Am So Glad That Jesus Loves Me," "Let the Lower Lights Be Burning," "Scatter Seeds of Kindness," and hundreds more in the same vein.
The taste for this sort of psalmody seems to flourish as vigorously as ever, especially in the country. Millions of people derive enjoyment and edification from the kind of talk that is heard at a rural prayer-meeting. They are not disturbed by the unspirituality and crass materialism of the ideas there presented. They are not fastidious about either the form or substance of religious truth, and without a qualm they throw themselves into songs such as we have quoted. Human nature being what it is, and the liking for bathos being so widespread and ineradicable, the "Gospel Hymns" as a whole will probably remain popular and even increase in popularity for a long time to come. The people who sing them with such zest would not appreciate the deli­cacy and refinement, in thought and expression, of the few great hymns. For these honest folk the triviality of the music, the cheapness of style, the shallowness of concep­tion, and the cloying sentimentally are exactly what lend charm to the "Gospel Hymns." While the Ladies9 Home Journal continues the model of a successful periodical in America, the "Gospel Hymns" will go on selling by the millions.
And yet we would not undervalue these hymns—the solace they have brought in sorrow, the inspiration in mo­ments of despondency, the strength in the hour of weakness. They are, after all, not to be judged by the strict canons of musical and literary art. In their own field they are a law unto themselves. Many a man who can cooly dissect poetry and music of far higher technical excellence and can lay his finger unerringly upon the flaws, would hesitate to sub­ject these hymns to critical analysis; for behind the empty and jingling words may lie a world of tender memory and profound emotion. The familiar cadence may recall the

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III