Saturday, April 04, 2009

Farther Along: Saturday Soundtrack

It has been said that one test of whether or not one is a true Southerner is if the person knows what "by and by" means. I don't know if that is true or not. Maybe, it is a little bit true, but I don't think it is universally true. For example, I was born and, for the most part, raised in California by immigrants from Oklahoma and Missouri, yet I know what "by and by" means.

The reason I know is that many Sunday mornings, but more often on Sunday nights, the churches I attended sang this song. Back then, when I was just a boy, this song didn't mean much to me. And I didn't understand why so many of the old people wept when they sang it. But I am older now, and tears drop from my eyes now, too, when I sing it.

The song deals with three great mysteries: The prosperity of the wicked, and suffering of the righteous, and death.

The song has been recorded by many, including Ralph Stanley and Elvis Presley. This version by Johny Cash is my favorite.

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