Good News If You Can’t Carry a Tune in a Bucket

Walter Albritton



When I was a boy, I noticed one Sunday that whenever our pastor asked us to “stand and sing,” my dad stood beside my mom, but never sang. He may have quietly hummed the tune, but I don’t think he even did that. I never asked why, and he never explained his silence. He worshiped God but without singing.

While I admired Dad, I must have gotten my genes for singing from Mama. I have loved and enjoyed singing all my life, especially songs of faith. I like many different types of songs, from country songs that “tell a story,” to the great hymns of the church. I also like some of the new contemporary worship songs, as well as spirituals and simple choruses. (Pop and rock songs may be the most popular in the world, but they do nothing for me.)

Now that I live almost alone (My dog Buddy is still with me.), and many songs are in my memory bank, I sing a lot at home. Buddy has gotten used to my eruptions in song; he doesn’t jump like he once did when I suddenly begin singing “Thou art worthy, Thou art worthy, Thou art worthy O Lord, to receive glory, glory and honor, glory and honor and power; for Thou hast created, hast all things created, Thou hast created all things; and for Thy pleasure they are created — Thou art worthy, O Lord.”

That song may not do anything for Buddy, but it stirs my soul to give God glory for creating all things, even me, for His pleasure. For me, singing chases away the dread of loneliness and frees me up to enjoy the gifts that God keeps giving me, especially the gift of life and rich fellowship with fellow servants of Jesus. Singing helps me affirm my faith in the goodness of God, and that’s pretty needful in this world so filled with brokenness, violence, evil and suffering.

Since our “days are numbered,” and none of us knows when our number is coming up, it blesses me to face the brevity of life by singing a song like “One day at a time sweet Jesus, that’s all I’m asking of You, just give me the strength to do every day what I have to do. Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus, and tomorrow may never be mine. Lord, help me today, show me the way, one day at a time.”

Because we don’t know how many days we have left, it’s important to live every day to the fullest.

If I had asked my dad why he didn’t sing, he might have given me the excuse I have heard often from others: “Son, I can’t carry a tune in a bucket.” That excuse means a person is musically challenged and sings very poorly. But what has a bucket got to do with it? I found out that to “carry a tune” is to sing correctly. So admitting the inability to carry, or transport, a tune in a bucket is to say, “Even if I had my head in a bucket, where the acoustics are more favorable, I could not sing correctly.”

Well, I have good news for Christians who can’t carry a tune in a bucket. In heaven you  will have a new voice for singing. How do I know this? Because of the way John describes heaven in the Book of Revelation. John says he heard a great multitude singing, “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory.” (19:6-7). That great multitude, whose singing sounds, John says, like “great peals of thunder,” will surely include everybody. Nobody will have to hum or lip-sync the words. So, praise God, my dad has a new voice and I can’t wait to hear him singing praise to God.

In the meantime, until I join my dad in singing with that great multitude, I can enjoy singing songs like the one composed by Charles Parkin: See the morning sun ascending, radiant in the eastern sky; hear the angel voices blending in their praise to God on high! Alleluia! Alleluia! Glory be to God on high! So may we, in lowly station, join the choristers above; singing with the whole creation, praising thee for thy great love. Alleluia! Alleluia! Glory be to God above! For thy loving kindness ever shed upon our earthly ways; for thy mercy, ceasing never, for thy blessing day by day; “Wisdom, honor, power, and blessing!” with the angelic host we cry; round thy throne, thy name confessing, Lord we would to thee draw nigh. Alleluia! Alleluia! Glory be to God on high!

Yes, indeed; Glory be to God for the privilege of singing.


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