American Old Time Song Lyrics: 33 The Volunteer Organist

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 33

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By S W. Foos.

The elder in his pulpit high, said, as he slowly riz:
"Our organist is kep to hum, laid up with roomatiz,
An' as we have no substitoot, as brother Moore ain't here.
Will some 'un in the congregation be so kind's to volunteer?"

An' then a red-nosed, drunken tramp, of low-toned, rowdy style,
Give an' interductory hiccup, an' then staggered up the aisle.
Then thro' thet holy atmosphere there crep a sense er sin,
An' thro' that air of sanctity the odor uv ol' gin.

Then Deacon Purington he yelled, his teeth all sot on edge:
"This man purfanes the house er God! Why this is sacrilege!"
The tramp didn' hear a word he said, but stoutened 'ith stumhlin' feet,
An' sprawled an' staggered up the steps, an' gained the organ seat.

He then went pawrin' thro' the keys, and soon there rose a strain,
Thet seemed to jest bulge out the heart an 'lectrify the brain;
An' then he slapped down on the thing 'ith hands an' head an' knees.
He slam-dashed his hull body down kerflop upon the keys.

The organ roared, the music flood went sweepin' high an' dry,
It swelled into the rafters, and bulged out into the shy,
The ol' church shook an' staggered, an' seemed to reel an' sway,
An' the elder shouted "Glory!" an' I jelled out "Hooray!"

An' then he tried a tender strain that melted in our ears,
That brought up blessed memories and drenched 'era down 'ith tears;
An' we dreamed uv ol'-time kitchens, 'ith Tabby on the mat,
Uv home au' luv an' baby-days, an' mother, an' all that.

An' then he struck a streak uv hope-a song from souls forgiven -
Thet burst from prison-bare uv sin, an' stormed the gates uv heaven;
The mornin' stars they sung together-no soul was left alone-
We felt the universe wuz safe an' God wuz on his throne.

An' then a wail of deep despair an' darkness come again,
An' a long, black crape hung on the doors uv all the homes uv men;
No luv, no light, no joy, no nope, no songs of glad delight,
An' then- the tramp, he staggered down an' reeled Into the night.

But we knew he'd tol' his story, tho' he never spoke a word,
An' it waz the saddest story thet our ears had ever heard;
he hed tol' his own life history, an' no eye was dry thet day,
W'en the elder rose an' simply said: "My brethren, let us pray."
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III