News Perspectives Opportunity From Adversity For me, one of the benefits of the Covid isolation is that it has provided oceans of time to play the piano. So, I‘ve been ploughing through mountains of sheet music and playing things I haven’t looked at never mind played in years. This morning I came to a tattered book of Victorian Parlour and Music Hall Songs and eventually, going through it, came to two songs - Sullivan’s ‘The Lost Chord’ and the ‘Volunteer Organist’. A song written in 1893 and sung to an old hymn tune. They hold special memories for me as I used to accompany a long-deceased friend who sang them many times at church services and events. Then, and today, the words of both resonate with me and ‘The Volunteer Organist’ never fails to bring a lump to my throat. I’d like to share the words of both songs with you not for their personal sentimental value but because I believe they re a source of inspiration. I hope you agree, and find something inspirational within them. Minister Alan Rawnsley The Lost Chord Seated one day at the organ,I was weary and ill at ease,And my fingers wandered idlyOver the noisy keys;I know not what I was playing,Or what I was dreaming then,But I struck one chord of music,Like the sound of a great Amen,Like the sound of a great Amen.It flooded the crimson twilight,Like the close of an angel’s psalm,And it lay on my fevered spirit,With a touch of infinite calm,It quieted pain and sorrow,Like love overcoming strife,It seemed the harmonious echoFrom our discordant life,It linked all the perplexed meaningsInto one perfect peace,And trembled away into silence,As if it were loath to cease;I have sought but I seek it vainly,That one lost chord divine,Which came from the soul of the organ,And entered into mine.It may be that death’s bright angelWill speak in that chord again;It may be that only in Heav’nI shall hear that great Amen.It may be that death’s bright angelWill speak in that chord again;It may be that only in Heav’nI shall hear that great Amen. The Volunteer Organist The preacher at the village church, oneSunday morning said,"Our organist is ill today; will someoneplay instead?"An anxious look came o'er the face ofevery person thereTo see who in the church that morn wouldfill the vacant chair.An old man stumbled up the aisle, hisclothes were worn and tornHow strange a drunkard seemed to be inchurch on Sunday mornBut as his fingers touched the keys,without a single wordThe melody the old man played was thesweetest ever heard.(Chorus): The scene was one I'll ne'erforget as long as I may liveAnd just to see it o'er again, all earthlywealth I'd giveThe congregation all amazed, thepreacher old and grey,The organ and the organist whovolunteered to play.Each eye grew dim in church that morn,and the strongest cheek grew pale.The organist without a word, had told hisown life's tale.No lesson that the preacher read, thatmorning could compareWith life's example on that morn, sat inthe vacant chair.And as he gently closed the lid and slowlywent his wayThe preacher rose and softly said "Goodbrethren, let us pray."