Monday, October 22, 2007

Four 1910 Post Cards tell the story of “The Volunteer Organist”

“The preacher in the Village church one Sunday morning said:
‘Our organist is ill today, will someone play instead?’
An anxious look crept o’er the face of every person there,
As eagerly they watched to see who’d fill the vacant chair.
A man then staggered down the aisle whose clothes were old and torn
How strange a drunkard seemed to me in Church on Sunday morn.
But, as he touched the organ keys, without a single word,
The melody that followed was the sweetest ever heard.

The scene was one I’ll ne’er forget
As long as I may live,
And just to see it o’er again
All earthly worlds I’d give;
The congregation, all amazed,
The preacher old and grey,
The organ, and the organist
Who volunteered to play.

Each eye shed tears within that church,
The strongest men grew pale,
The organist in melody
Had told his own life’s tale.
The sermon of the preacher
Was no lesson to compare
With that of life’s example
Who sat in the organ chair.

And, when the service ended,
Not a sole had left a seat
Except the poor old organist
Who started toward the street;
Along the aisle and out the door
He slowly walked away,
The preacher rose and softly said,
‘Good brethren, let us pray.’ ”

I saw these 4 postcards for sale in my daughter and her husband's antique shop, "Bowen Barn", in Stanfordville, NY. They are printed by Bamforth..."Life Model Series"...circa 1900. The poems were written on each card but when I scanned them the writing was too small to I cut them out of the picture and re-typed the applicable poems after posting the pictures.


Blogger kenju said...

What a great series of cards, Ginnie! Did you buy them? Or just photograph them...LOL. Did the poem come with them or did you write it?

3:50 PM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

Hi Judy: those are two good questions and I should have made it clearer in the post. The poems were on the bottom of each card but were too small to I cut the words out when I scanned the cards and decided to re-type the poem following the pictures. They are still on sale at Bowen Barn!

4:15 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

A little bit like "Touch of the Master's Hand".

5:31 PM  
Blogger Cazzie!!! said...

I so loved this..and the thing is, it is should not ever judge a book by it's cover...for the very box that persons bottom sits on may just contain stories of gold..stories untold!

1:08 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

Oh, Ginnie, this was beautiful I don't know why, but it made me cry. And it says something very true about judgment.

3:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great lesson! Some of those old poems are the best. I have some books of my moms that are wonderful. A story to be heard in every one of the poems.

6:43 PM  
Blogger Bud said...

Ginny, A beautiful poem. Thanks for sharing.

2:07 AM  
Blogger KGMom said...

The illustrations have a Norman Rockwell quality to them, don't they.
A very sweet post.

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ginnie, hi. Thank you for the great photos. I have just been given a copy of this poem as a song with music by Henry Lamb. The last few bars of music are missing which is frustrating (can anybody help, please?) but the second verse (The scene was one I'll ne'er forget, etc) is repeated as a chorus at the end of the song. What poignant, gentle words and pictures these are, from an age almost lost in time.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Bonnie Jacobs said...

Ginnie, this was so perfect for last week's prompt at my Weekend Wordsmith blog that I added a link to this post:

I hope that's okay. If not, please tell me and I'll remove it. I enjoyed seeing (and reading) these cards. Thanks.

11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...; You saved my day again.

4:14 AM  
Anonymous Denis Newman said...

Dear Ginnie
after a long search to find a copy of the volunteer organist a song that my dear departed farther used to sing to me when I was a little child and one that as always stayed in my memory for well over 60years I am eternaiy greatfull to you for publishing the poem along with the picture card you will never know just what they mean to me and i will tresure them for the rest of my life thank you once again. Denis Newman(England UK)

6:18 AM  
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