“That’s music to my ears.”

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“Wow, that’s music to my ears,” says the person who just got good news. “Music is the universal language,” said American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. As a young man, the future King David was a “mighty man of valor, a warrior, one prudent in speech, a handsome man, and a skillful musician.” More importantly, the Lord was with him (1 Samuel 16:18).

Music was part of the human experience at least by the fourth chapter of Genesis, where we learn that Jubal, the great-great-great-grandson of Enoch, was the father of all who play the lyre and pipe.

Music binds families together. It binds groups together. It binds Christians together. It binds believers to God.

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you,
with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another
with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Colossians 3:16

I am confident that music is good for the heart, soul, mind, and even the bodies of children — and of former children like us. With free concerts at churches and parks and in various media, it is an easily accessible educational resource for homeschooling families.

Music on Cape Breton in Nova Scotia is a multi-generational family affair. During our recent trip, we got our first taste of live Cape Breton music on the evening when we were sailing from Halifax to Sydney, when we enjoyed immensely a performance by two sisters who performed Cape Breton music and dancing.

The MacDonald Sisters play . . .
The MacDonald Sisters play . . .
. . . and dance.
. . . and dance.

Music is important to Capers (residents of Cape Breton). “The world’s largest fiddle” greets visitors beside its cruise ship terminal.

The Cape Breton Violin
The Cape Breton Fiddle, the “World’s Largest”

One of our destinations at Cape Breton was the Miners’ Museum at Glace Bay. When Garth, Terry, Ray, and I arrived thirty minutes early for the tour, the lady at the desk told us that we could look around the museum. She also said that the coal miners’ chorus was practicing in the auditorium. She assured us that they wouldn’t mind if we went in to listen.

We found the twenty-two Men of the Deeps in the auditorium, practicing for their Christmas CD they plan to record in June. Their director told us that they were “North America’s only coal miners’ chorus.” When they learned that we were from near Nashville, they took a break from singing Christmas songs to sing a special coal miners song for us, a song they thought we would like. How I wish I could describe to you the beautiful male voices that filled that auditorium.

Men of the Deeps, North America's Only Coal Miners' Chorus
Men of the Deeps, North America’s Only Coal Miners’ Chorus

The voices of the Men of the Deeps went deeply into our hearts. After our tour, which I plan to tell you about another day, Ray told me that the combination of the tour plus the coal miner chorus’ practice we heard beforehand made that day one of the best he has ever experienced in his life.

Finding our tour guide (a fourth generation coal miner), I told him what Ray had said. When we got back into the lobby where we had purchased our tickets, we asked if we could purchase a CD by the Men of the Deeps. The staff opened a closet to find one for us. When we tried to pay, the price was “no charge.” Our tour guide wanted it to be on him.

Sing to the Lord a new song;
Sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, bless His name;
Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.
Tell of His glory among the nations,
His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.
Psalm 96:1-3

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