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Mixed Music with a Message

It is not unusual to have two songs or hymns merged together, but this one was a bit strange. While attending a recent meeting in an Amish owned hotel I heard on the background soundtrack, the mixture of the 1970s classic “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and the 1770s classic “Amazing Grace” by John Newton. The 1970s classic became Simon & Garfunkel’s biggest hit single, and it is often considered their signature song. It became one of the most performed songs of the twentieth century, with over 50 artists, among them Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin who, according to some, “took the song to church”. Listening to a gospel group’s version of the 19th-Century spiritual “Oh Mary Don’t You Weep” over and over again in his Upper East Side apartment, Simon was thunderstruck by a line, “I’ll be your bridge over deep water if you trust in my name,” the voice promising to be a bridge obviously being that of God. The New Orleans musician Allen Toussaint liked to say: “That song had two writers: Paul Simon and God.” Of course, the significance of “Amazing Grace” speaks for itself. I’m not sure how I feel about the merging of these two, but I did find it interesting. “I’m on your side, when times get rough, and friends just can’t be found.” “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). Mixed music with a message!

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