The Blue Raccoon

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Go Rest High On That Mountain

This song was presented at the memorial service for Elise McDaniel, Amie's sister, at the Mt. Zion Presbyterian Church, a modest Mississippi back country house of worship where many of their cousins are buried--a number of them automobile related fatalities, early-age heart attacks, and war veterans of U.S. conflicts.

The service was conducted by Reverend Owen Gordon Jr., who is married to Amie's cousin Marie. His remarkes were neither preachy nor pretentious, but real and understanding of the person in the casket, and those who'd come to memorialize her. Elise was the flower girl in Gordon's own wedding held this church almost 30 years ago.

Amie's second cousin Tracey sang an accapella version of "Go Rest High On That Mountain." The appropriateness of this piece, delivered in a big, contralto voice, was complete for Elise's life and her passing. Vince Gill wrote the song; I can't think that the melody ever sounded more poignant or authentic than when sung without accompaniment in that rustic chapel while rain poured upon the small, unadorned cemetery.

This was followed later by "Amazing Grace" which I've heard done almost every way, and every time, it puts my hair on end and brings tears to my eyes, and this was no different. And I'm not a religious person; but the emotion behind the music transcends mere articles of faith.

Go Rest High On That Mountain
I know your life on earth was troubled

And only you could know the pain

You weren't afraid to face the devil

You were no stranger to the rain


Go rest high on that mountain

Son, your work on earth is done

Go to heaven a shoutin'

Love for the Father and the Son

Oh, how we cried the day you left us

We gathered 'round your grave to grieve

I wish I could see the angels' faces

When they hear your sweet voice sing

Repeat (Chorus)

Go to heaven a shoutin'

Love for the Father and the Son.

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