Volunteer Organist, The
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The Volunteer Organist
Written by William Gray, music by Henry Lamb, in 1863.
- The preacher at the village church, one Sunday morning said,
"Our organist is ill today; will someone play instead?"
An anxious look came o'er the face of every person there
To see who in the church that morn would fill the vacant chair.
- An old man stumbled up the aisle, his clothes was worn and torn
How strange a drunkard seemed to be in church on Sunday morn
But as his fingers touched the keys, without a single word
The melody the old man played was the sweetest ever heard.
The scene was one I'll ne'er forget as long as I may live
And just to see it o'er again, all earthly wealth I'd give
The congregation all amazed, the preacher old and grey,
The organ and the organist who volunteered to play.
- Each eye grew dim in church that morn, and the strongest cheek grew pale.
The organist without a word, had told his own life's tale.
No lesson that the preacher read, that morning could compare
With life's example that morn sat in the vacant chair.
And as he gently closed the lid and slowly went his way
The preacher rose and softly said "Good brethren, let us pray."