A wonderful man has asked me to marry him,
and I desperately need your advice before I can give him my
answer. I have sung shapenote music all my life. I was raised in a
"singing family," and led my first lesson when I was five years
old. I have always attended every convention I could. My
sweetheart sings shapenote music, too.
The problem? My family sings from the Denson
revision, and his family sings from the Cooper revision. Could
such a mixed marriage succeed? How will we raise our children?
Which conventions should we attend? What will we sing at our
wedding? Please hurry your answer! ----Guess
Who's Coming to Dinner-on-the-Ground
Notes regrets that you did not consult her before you found
yourself in this predicament. She would have encouraged you to
think with your ears instead of your heart. Since you are using
words such as "wonderful" and "sweetheart," Miss Grace Notes
senses that it's a little late for cautionary words. At this
point, Miss Grace Notes can only recommend prudence. Sacred Harp
mixed marriages are not easy; they require adjustment of rhythm
and speed and other auditory elements to remain harmonious.
On the subject of conventions, Miss Grace Notes
assumes that you will want to attend these events together. If
that is the case, you must sit down to plan your singing calendar.
That way each of you will know what to expect. When in Ozark or
Henderson or Hoboken, do as they do in those parts; when in Holly
Springs or Ider or Fayette, sing as they sing there.
This much seems self-evident to Miss Grace Notes. If
you follow this same principle in deciding which songs will be
sung at your wedding, it will probably work out all right, though
it could be awkward if only one half of the wedding guests sing at
a time. Miss Grace Notes feels certain that you are thinking
fondly of the days when the entire wedding ceremony was the
bride's decision. She reminds you that the bride was compelled to
obey her husband thereafter and asks you to count your blessings.
As to the children, Miss Grace Notes hopes that you
will take them with you to all the singings you attend, and that
you will love them no matter which tradition they adopt. She hopes
you have the good sense to avoid seven-shape and gospel singings
when they reach those dangerous teenage years. Perhaps if you do
you can spare them your current dilemma.
Back to Miss Grace Notes