As heard on the Good Stuff with Jim Thompson

by Archie Campbell

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 Eyer,
and he insisted every Sunday on singing 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 Eyer must stop singing or the choir was gonna resign.

So the pastor appointed a committee, I think it was three or four,
and they got in their big fine car and drove up to Eyer’s door.
They found the choir’s great trouble sitting there in an old arm-chair,
The summer’s golden sunbeams lay upon his snow-white hair.

Said one, “We’re here dear Brother, with the vestry’s approbation
to discuss a little matter that affects the congregation.
Now, it seems that your voice is interfering with the choir,
So, if you’ll just lay out, or...Are you listening, Brother Eyer..?”

The old man raised his head, a sign that he did hear;
and on his furrowed cheek they 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 wonder if beyond the tide that’s breaking at my feet,
in that far-off heavenly temple where my Master and 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 of singing 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 Eyer was dead.
A few church-goers watched the door, but the old man entered not.
The choir missed him for a while, but he was soon forgot.

Far away his voice is sweet, and he sings his heart’s desires
Where there are no church committees and no fashionable choirs.