So, today, I had to try to find out of any of the different versions of The Sacred Harp–each one claiming to be more authentic than the last, each one’s claim on true authenticity more dubious than the last, at least as far as I can tell–still had George Pullen Jackson’s historical piece up-front. I ended up calling down to Carrollton, Georgia, where the Denson book is now published.
The gentleman I talked to informed me that there were nothing but hymns in his book. He did not want it cluttered with any of that new junk. That would be funny enough, considering that Jackson died in ’53. But the thing that had me laughing the rest of the afternoon was that I swore I could practically hear the wink in his voice.
Sometimes the arguments are older than you are, and you just have them because you always have. And what can you do in the face of your place in history but play your part when the tie comes and try to enjoy it?