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Trouble in the Amen Corner

This song is by Tex Ritter and appears on the album Just Beyond the Moon (1967).

Rock of ages cleft for me
Let me hide myself in Thee

It was a stylish congregation you could see they'd been around
And they had the biggest pipe organ of any church in town
But over in the Amen Corner of that church sat Brother Ira
And he insisted every Sunday on singin' in the choir
His voice was cracked and broken age had touched his vocal chords
And nearly every Sunday he'd get behind and miss the words
Well the choir got so flustered the church was told in fine
That Brother Ayer must stop his singin' or the choir was goin' to resign
So the pastor appointed a committee I think it was three or four
They got in their big fine cars and drove up to Ira's door
They find the choir's great trouble sittin' there in an old arm chair
And the summer's golden sunbeams lay upon his snow white hair
One of them spoke up and said we're here dear Brother with the vestries approbation
To discuss a little matter that affects the congregation
Now we don't want no singin' except what we've bought
The newest tunes are all the rage the old ones stand for nought
And so we've decided are you listenin' Brother Ira
Yes we've decided that you'll have to stop your singin' it's messin' up our choir
The old man raised his head at sign that he did hear
And on his cheek the three men caught the glitter of a tear
His feeble hands pushed back the locks as white as silky snow
And he answered the committee in a voice both soft and low
I have sung the songs of David nearly eighty years said he
They've been my staff and comfort all through life's dreary way
Sorry if I disturbed the choir I guess I was doin' wrong
But when my heart is filled with praise I can't keep back a song
And I wonder if beyond the tide that's breaking at my feet
In that far off heavenly temple where my Master I shall meet
Yes I wonder if when I try to sing the songs of God up higher
I wonder if they'll kick me out up there for singin' in heaven's choir

A silence filled the little room the old man bowed his head
The committee went on back to town but Brother Ira was dead
The choir missed him for a while but he was soon forgot
A few church goers watched the door but the old man entered not
Far away his voice is sweet and he sings his heart's desire
Where there are no church committees and no fashionable choirs

Rock of ages cleft for me
Let me hide myself in Thee

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