Monday, November 9, 2009

At the River

I attended my friend Paul's funeral three weeks ago and was reminded today of it while listening to an account of Justice Scalia crying openly and publicly at the funeral service of  Chief Justice Rehnquist.  I admire people who are secure enough in themselves to cry in public.  I am so uncomfortable crying in public that I was embarassed when I started to weep at the funeral during a performance of Aaron Copland's arrangement of "Shall We Gather At the River".  Part of the problem may be that I have always cried easily when emotionally hurt and that has happened too often in the work setting.  Like Tom Hanks said in  A League of Their Own, "There's no crying in baseball" --or in the workplace if you are a woman.  So I get upset when the tears start to flow as if it were such a bad thing to cry anywhere.  I hate to be viewed as an "emotional woman" or "hysterical". But sometimes it is ok to cry, such as at the funerals of friends.

"At the River" is a wonderful hymn which I had the pleasure of learning a few years ago when I sang with the LMU Community Chorus, although the version we did combined that hymn with another song, "Deep River."  At the funeral, the hymn was sung by a baritone with tenor overtones.  Here is a young baritone  I found on Youtube singing the Aaron Copland version.  It gives me the chills.

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